Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Learning by Exam

Use Exams to teach rather than simply evaluate
  [vote for,

Traditionally, students are "examined" at the end of a course- often by answering questions. Back when I did this, the student often did not receive any feedback other than the exam "score". Thus some students would go through life remembering the wrong answer to some (or many) questions. This seems to be less than educational, especially if important questions were used for the examination (hey, it COULD happen!). With computer grading, a quick remonstration and a second or third chance to answer - followed by an explanation- would seem to be more educational. But why wait for the end of the course to start this- why not start it the very first day! You arrive in class and begin answering questions! and LEARNING. Hard to fall asleep? and no more skipping class! There is an old movie that suggests Haavaad law school worked this way for one student in each class, but why not for everyone? Siri might be able to do more than ANSWER questions?
lewstanley, May 15 2016

Or you could use [land]'s idea... Normzone_20Paragraph_20Breaker
[normzone, May 17 2016]


       "Experience is the harshest teacher, because she gives the test frst and the lesson afterward... "
8th of 7, May 15 2016

       A fine scheme. Also it would allow one to remember scenarios and remember the principles involved. It extends "teaching to the test" to its logical conclusion.
bungston, May 16 2016

       Very good.   

       I found, being bounced around like an army brat that sometimes my brother and I would be arriving at a new school just before some exam or other that we were taking pretty much blind if our last school hadn't covered the material yet, that many test answers are contained elsewhere in the test itself.   

       The trick was to answer the simplest questions first, which would prime you for a few of the harder questions, which might help with a couple of things you were totally clueless about... and of course having a knack for guessing c,b,d, or a correctly helped quite a bit.
...except for math.

       ...had to show your work for math.   

       Except that this has no element of learning, nor teaching. This is exactly not how to do education.   

       Imagine a scenario where you teach road safety to very young toddlers by never telling them anything about traffic at all — parents, other villagers, elders, peers, dogs, nobody must give any clues. Then one day you gather the toddlers up and set them free on a very busy section of road. Those that survive will have “learned”, those that didn’t will not have passed the test.   

       Imagine a scenario where people are taught swimming by being thrown into the sea. Those that survive will have learned. But they will not necessarily have learned a good or optimal strategy, merely the first random one that came to mind.   

       Imagine a scenario where people are taught programming or nuclear power generation by not educating them beforehand, but just setting them loose on an exam, or better still, in a real job. Those that survive the first few weeks will have “learned”? No, more likely simply not have been found out yet.   

       This contains no element of education at all. It’s merely elimination, like caterpillars or sea turtles being picked off by birds — some are statistically bound to survive, but that action contains no transmissible knowledge or technique.
Ian Tindale, May 17 2016

       I suspect that subjects where failure = death would be approached with something other than the actual thing. Some representation of the real thing, perhaps laid out in words and figures in such a way as to test and measure understanding. There must be a word for such a thing. I feel like I have read it recently.
bungston, May 17 2016

       Still, all this does is reinforce failure while celebrating lottery winners. Having got the answer incorrect on a question, all the student learns is that they don’t know the answer. There’s no reasoning toward the correct answer. You could present the question and the multiple phases of attempts and explanations, in an entirely synthetic language that nobody has ever seen before. I’d be surprised if the student evolves a methodology for higher than random or average marks, whilst also saying that they have “learned” anything about the subject itself.
Ian Tindale, May 17 2016

       /You could present the question and the multiple phases of attempts and explanations, in an entirely synthetic language that nobody has ever seen before. /   

       This sounds like it could be an intriguing video game. I envision the explanations delivered by an obviously well-meaning but completely unintelligible alien before the player is released for another try.   

       [lewstanley] I do not mean to imply that you personally are either obviously well meaning or completely unintelligible. Non-obvious and incompletely remain possibilities.
bungston, May 17 2016

       Will this test include paragraph breaks?
normzone, May 17 2016

       I have just started doing this with a bizarre and badly produced little introduction to Hinduism and it is surprisingly effective, even though it may only be triggering some dozen years of perpetual exams before I discovered women. [+]
4and20, May 21 2016


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