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Sunday, March 7

Internet-based exams

Schooling and exams have come a long way. When I was a high school student in Greece, memorization was the key to success. It did not matter if you did not understand it. As long as you could recite, you could pass with flying colors. I suffered my first serious cultural shock when I came to the US for my university studies and the grade was not just based on the old classical closed book exams but also on research papers. Room to breathe I had thought. And as I found out, lots to learn as well when you are involved in your own research.


Fast-forward in the 21st century and we have new learning assessment debates. My Balkan country of origin is still hooked on memorization. In the US high schools teachers have started open book exams and internet based exams if the course matter is appropriate. Last spring, Danish high school students were allowed for the first time to use internet during finals (watch this short video). According the Danish officials, if the internet is such a great part of daily life, it should be incorporated in the classroom and in examinations. Sanne Yde Schmidt, project director at Greve, said: “If we're going to be a modern school and teach them things that are relevant for them in modern life, we have to teach them how to use the internet.” The Minister for education Bertel Haarder, added: “Our exams have to reflect daily life in the classroom and daily life in the classroom has to reflect life in society. The internet is indispensible, including in the exam situation. I’m sure that is would be a matter of very few years when most European countries will be on the same line.”

How about cheating? Emailing the questions to other students is not possible because messaging and emailing have been disabled. Other forms of cheating are not considered serious threats as the students are under the pressure of time and they are also trusted to demonstrate integrity and dignity.

Some teachers do not appear willing to shift away from the old closed-book exam. This is the only way that tests studying they say. Some have shifted to open-notes exams, believing that students who are forced to write, also learn. Allowing internet use, other add, tests your ability to analyze and synthesize information. And they emphasize that testing should be a learning experience as well.

Think back into your high school experience and your college days. What types of assessments (exams, research papers, blogging, presentations, debates) enabled you to retain the knowledge the longest and assist you in developing critical thinking? Which combination of assessments would you suggest if you were a professor? Please take the poll on the right so we can have an aggregate picture!

90 comments:

jtannebe said...

I think too many students just rely on memorization for exams and lack critical thinking skills. Yes, they may pass the exam, but they did not really learn anything so it does them a disservice. Alot of classes have cumulative exams at the end of the semester and if students only relied on memorization and not knowledge, then they may not do well. Some classes you can get by with just memorizing at the time for a specific test, but others you cannot. For example, I graduated from USF with a degree in Communications. The classes were easy and I barely studied. Now, I am struggling with my medical courses (I have come to HCC to pursue Nursing) because it is imperative to my future jobs and all other medical courses that I know what is being taught. I can no longer just rely on memorization as a quick fix because I will be left behind and my career would suffer. Open note and open book tests are great and ensure that you will pass, but I think that you should only have exams that test your knowledge without the material in front of you. How else will you learn? I think essay question based exams are the best way to display what you have learned.

Atro said...

Most of schooling has been studying material and taking that information to answer questions on a test, based on memorization. This is simply looking at information and reproducing it based on memory. The best way to learn is by writing a research paper. This causes you to take time and research the information and actually think about it. Writing it in your own words helps to instill it in your mind because you can relate to it then. The internet-based learning is a great idea. It allows student to look up information and learn it in a 21st century way, not the old boring textbook way thats been going on for so long.

Yeiria said...

I think that debates, writing research papers at home, and open book/notes test are the best ways, for me in particular, to learn. There's so many things on the internet that aren't reliable or even true most of the time. You have to make sure you know exactly what you're looking for and know which sites are most trusted. The internet should be used in schools, of course, because it is the future, but not necessarily for tests. Writing a research paper at home allows me to actually enter a library and look up written books about the topic that I am writing about. When you're looking for different facts concerning a topic, borrowing a book that's all about that topic is the best option. Looking at the table of contents and skimming through the book will help you decide if it's the right book for you. Skimming through it, you will read sentences here and there and you will retain these interesting ideas that catch your eye. Open book/notes tests do actually help because you're not memorizing something you don't understand. You are asked a question and while you're looking it up you actually find other facts that help you understand other things you were confused or lost about. Debates are very good because they don't keep you focused on one side. Your mind actually opens up to other people's views and opinions and you start thinking out of the box. Learning how to think differently will definitely help you out when you're learning something new.

Julia said...

If I were a teacher, I think I'd try to incorporate as many different methods as possible. Every student is different, every person learns, tests, and excels in different areas and ways, so I would definitely do what I could to make the experience as diverse and as efficient as possible. I think that open-note exams really test the student's ability to not only record what the teacher says, but also to comprehend it on the exam day (which I find to be beneficial in gen. ed. classes that I am required to take, but won't necessarily use for my specific major... in my experience the method does not encourage blind memorization, but more comprehension and critical thinking instead, which is very useful in the long run beyond the classroom); at the same time essays, research papers, debates, blogging etc. all push the student to apply the concepts that they're learning to their own lives, beliefs, and ideas in a way that will challenge them to form their own opinions on these topics.

All that said, I do think that much of the issue would depend on the specific course. As another poster mentioned, it is important to really know your material if you are studying for a field that is very particular (such as nursing).

scrappy doo said...

I think that internet based exams should not take place in schools such as middle and high school. I believe when our youth have this option in school they may not learn the importance of an education. It does not allow them to understand the meaning of studying. This also allows the teachers to be more laid back when it comes down to educating the students/ our children. I understand that the internet is a good source of research but I believe that should be the only reason it should be used for.

neither1 said...

I believe that with the change in times and the way things are being taught now memorization will not get you through any longer. You do not retain anything if you memorize it for test purposes. Your short term memory won't get you through life it's the long term memory that holds the information. The internet may be the way to go if there is a way to not cheat. Open books would be good most people think an open book test is easy but it's not that simple. Open notes are good it helps to make you pay attention in the class your in. The exams are to see how much knowledge you have not how long much you can memorize.

NDFB said...

I believe as time passes, we should evolve. Teachers should adopt the new methods of not only teaching, but the way they distribute there tests. Me personally, I dont learn anything by memorization. Most jobs out in the real world require more than memorization skills. Most of my teachers currently give take home tests and open note one's to. I currently have a 4.0 GPA. So I am living proof that the new method works. I feel with the new age method im actually learning instead of memorizing. As i see in some areas, high schools are starting to adopt the new testing methods.

Kristi said...

How much information can one retain by going down a list and memorizing the definitions? How often will one be able to apply what they memorized into daily conversation? When I was younger I would ask my mom a question about a certain subject and she would tell me to look it up. But I didn’t know where to begin with that process. To prove that a person truly understands a subject they need to know how to look it up and what specific information they need to answer a particular question. That is why I feel that utilizing the internet for certain exams or a part of an exam is a great idea. I think that open note exams are useful as well as essay questions on said exams to show critical thinking skills. I feel it is time to rethink the way teaching institutions approach testing situations and adapt to the changing times.

jwarner said...

I believe that the most effective way for students to learn is through the take home, open book or open notes exam. The reason I feel this way is for many reasons. First, when students are forced to look up and find the correct answer there is a sort of a mnemonic way of remembering what you've looked up. I like the idea of it being take home because then the students are not rushed for time, and therefore they will have time to read why it is the answer instead of just what it is that they are choosing. A big controversy with the FCAT is that the students are not given enough time and it drastically reduces their scores.
JWarner

lexd said...

I believe that taking a exam online should not be allowed. For many different reasons. One being cheating. When I was in high school I had Spanish online class and I paid my friend who was fluent in Spanish to do my whole class. Not only did I pass but the teacher never suspected me cheating. So there is always ways around it. On top of that is students sometimes students don't get the material when they pretty much have to teach themselves. I believe its easier and you actually learn the material in a traditional classroom
Plus its easier to catch cheaters

Nadia said...

As a student, I have learned best when education was interesting and involving. I feel that the cases in which I learned best were through research papers and debates. I was more inclined to remember material and understand concepts when I was immersed in the learning process rather than just regurgitating information. In research papers, one is required to do their own research and discover facts and information that may not be available in textbooks. Plus, research papers add a refreshing aspect to school work. When one must do his/her own research, he/she has a great chance of discovering a new and intriguing concept. When this happens, the research becomes very fun. Most people would agree that when learning is fun, you remember it more. And not only this, research papers give students a chance to teach the professor something new. A plethora of information is available on any given subject and research papers can open not only the student’s eyes to things they did not know, but also the teacher’s. As far as debate goes, I find it very enriching because you can voice your own viewpoint on an issue while another voices his/her opinion. In the end, one may walk away with a new perspective on an issue and more sensitivity to other viewpoints. During debates, people learn new things as well as teach others. Because both debate and research papers are very interactive, I feel they are one of the best ways to learn.

Garrett said...

I believe that a combination of teaching techniques used together creates the best atmosphere for learning. Closed book examinations encourage students to open books and read to find information. This helps one read the information then study it so you can remember the facts strictly from your mind. Debating also causes students to learn social information through their fellow students. When you can put a face or a personality with a subject it is easier to memorize. Blogging is also another effective way to get people to express their views together. This allows students to read over others ideas and feelings and compare their own to others. This gives a true experience to learning because students talk about their own lives and give personal events. In the end, learning from different methods is the best way to retain information and obtain a well-rounded education.

Erin Walsh said...

Learning processes as well as tests established to measure what has been learned are beginning to change as far as format. Where once most tests were closed book in belief that they were the best way to measure knowledge on the subject, there has now come a time that some professors feel comfortable utilizing the versatility of open note and internet-based tests. The argument at hand revolves around whether, though useful, open note and internet-based exams leave increased opportunities for cheating or don't require the same type of studying and knowledge traditional closed book tests do. In my opinion, traditional closed book tests require more retained knowledge, and I would suggest such assessments as a professor.
A downfall of the increasing amount of internet-based exams is that the test at hand may lose too much focus on learned material to indirectly test students on internet use capabilities and analyzing and synthesizing what may not be relevant information. A medium such as this that requires a knowlegde of computer use all its own deters from what the student is actually being tested on. Closed book tests require a stable medium that every student can comprehend, giving equal opportunity for each student to test well.
Internet-based as well as open note tests are an inevitable environment for cheating. Professors in favor of them claim that this is not a serious threat due to the fact that there is a time limitation and expectation of integrity and dignity, which does nothing to actively discourage cheating from occuring. To test a student's knowledge accurately, a strict guideline must be followed in test taking to prevent a student's scores from being based on what he or she got away with rather than what they learned.
Traditional closed book tests force an equal standard of learning, knowledge retention, and critical thinking. As the age of technology and new learning styles grows in strength, positive aspects of internet-based and open note learning experiences will as well--but they have a time and place.

Antaysia :) said...

Even though it wasn't that long ago, when I was in high school open notes tests were a delicacy. Our asssesments were based on remembering and applying the skills we learned. I can honestly say I enjoyed it, even though it was tedious and at time I would forget after the exam but some of the information sticked. However, assessing students knowledge varied from class to class depending on the teacher's style. My sophomore chemistry teacher drilled us with information and examples for three days, gave us a break on the fourth, then tested us on the fifth. I passed that exam. If I were a professor I would assess my students with both exams, research papers, and presentaions. I believe in creativity and puttin memory to the test.

Antaysia :) said...

Even though it wasn't that long ago, when I was in high school open notes tests were a delicacy. Our asssesments were based on remembering and applying the skills we learned. I can honestly say I enjoyed it, even though it was tedious and at time I would forget after the exam but some of the information sticked. However, assessing students knowledge varied from class to class depending on the teacher's style. My sophomore chemistry teacher drilled us with information and examples for three days, gave us a break on the fourth, then tested us on the fifth. I passed that exam. If I were a professor I would assess my students with both exams, papers, and presentaions. i believe in crativity and putting the memory to the test.

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moneyhoney said...

I think everyone has there own unique way of studying or memorizing information. Using books, internet, research papers or notes are beneficial to each individual preferred choice of studying. New sources of studying just means more options for us and better chances of succeeding. As far as finding false information on the internet I believe you can find false information in books as well, you just need experience in differentiating fact from fiction in everything you do. There are still alot of teachers who insist on sticking to old methods or what they are used to instead of introducing students to diverse outlets in studying. Half of the classes I take are completely on board with updated technology and I have no issues in studying or passing tests. On the other hand my other classes I have to struggle with the methods my teachers are comfortable with themselves but completely foreign to me. I think the best way to provide good results are beneficial ways of studying.

beautiful unique said...

In my opinion the internet is a great way to learn as well as make everyone lazy. Everyone learns differently and not everything that works for one person will work for the other. I am an auditory learner and I do rely upon memorization and also relating certain things that I hear to certain things that I see. I do believe that the best type of test are the ones that make the students have to answer in sentence form so that they are forced to explain their answer to ensure that they have comprehended the material. I believe this method would be the most effective for students to ensure that they know what they are talking about and learning.

Magnolia said...

As far as critical thinking goes, i think that open note exams help out a lot actually. Open book gives too much info, and looking for the answers would take too long, and probably leave the student even more confused and stressed out. closed book exams are also very stressful , and basically the student will only study what they think is on the test which may be too little and they will not be prepared enough. closed book also involves a lot of memorization which i think is unfair because some people are capable of memorizing a lot of material and others are not there for they do poorly on closed book exams. Internet based exams are very helpful because it allows the student to search for themselves what the answer is and i think they not only are able to pass the test but they can actually retain the information better. Research papers allow the same because students are doing research and they may learn a lot of information that could help them in the future.Class presentations are helpful because the students are forced to actually learn the material if they want to pass. students cannot really do a good job presenting something of they do not know what you are talking about. also this allows the students to teach each others so the audience is informed also. The same goes for debates because it allows students to see another students perspective. i think open note exams like the ones we take in our sociology class are the best for critical thinking because Ms. Smith gives us a study guide to fill out which helps me get through the reading, because i am not much for reading but if i am looking for an answer i am more motivated to find the answer so i read the information. when i find it in the reading it is easier to retain the information. Then when we take the test the questions are familiar and i have no trouble finding the answer in my study guide notes. Sometimes i do not even need to look in the notebook because i recall reading it and writing it down in my notes.

lbrown said...

I think memorizing for tests has its merits. While many think you lose it soon after the test is over, if you continue to use the material, you will remember. I also think that writing papers is an excellent way to retain information. I can still remember facts I included in a paper on John F. Kennedy when I was in 6th grade. Delving that deeply into material and connecting the information in meaningful ways lasts well in a student’s memory. I also think that debates hone in a student’s skills to think critically on both sides of the equation. This is a priceless skill for real world situations. All that said, I tend to remember things more if I can link it visually to a picture. Internet enhanced courses are great in this way. Many of the videos, stories and research material presented in this class have solidified my understanding of key concepts and linked them to real world situations. Abstract concepts remain abstract to students if a professor cannot link them to our everyday experiences. I have a bachelor’s degree and I am coming back for a second round. I graduated college originally in 2002. In just this short time, teaching with technology has grown exponentially. I feel that I am getting a more well rounded education this time around with all of the technological supplements.

Athena Smith said...

I am a bit shocked. The least popular method turns out to be open-book test??????
I am learning a lot by reading your comments.

Kriena Lang said...

In my opinion when you had open note tests and blogging it helped me remember the material for longer. If its online all you have to do is look it up and then write it downs. Also when I had to memorize things for a test I would study everything the night or morning before, and by doing that it didn’t go to my long term memory, and I usually forget it within the next couple of days. I feel if you have open notes where you write your notes out you tend to remember the material longer because you are more concentrated on getting it all on paper then having to remember it all. I think if I was a teacher I would let my students use open not, and also do blogs to see how much the understand what is going on in the class.

KP said...

I dont necessarily think that memorizing information for a test means that your learning the material. It is just as easy to memorize things and forget them right after. I do not think open note exams are bad because you are looking for the information in your notes. I would have to say research papers would be the most successful only because you are looking up information, and not just passing through it. Also, while you are researching your brain is taking it all in. me in particular on tests, end up doing worse on multiple choice and much better on a essay question because your thought process is better.i agree with most people its not really how style of studying but much more in the future of how the teachers make the tests.

Nani2801 said...

Like many people have probably already mentioned. Memorization is not a way of learning. You end of memorizing things to answer questions that make no sense to you in the first place. I think that the internet is a great resource but you cant use it for everything. Though I do agree that google is one of the best tools out there when doing research papers and essays. I would also agree that making tests that require you to think and answer in an essay form is a good way to get some critical thinking out of your student. Teachers now a days want a specific response to the questions they ask in the exam that make no sense whatsoever...Half of the time you have to look in your notes if allowed and read through all 20something pages of meaningless words to try and answer a question you dont even understand. So in my opinion the internet would be a GREAT WAY!!! To help students in the 21st century but only for specific things...

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Alex Logsdon said...

I would have to say I learn the best when I have to prepare for an exam. If the exam allows me to use the internet I would never have a use for studying and would not memorize or retain the information. I think it would be a bad idea to let students use the internet during an exam. It puts less emphasis on preparedness and individual knowledge. I know if I memorize what I need to I can start to put it into real life situations which in turn helps me understand and use the knowledge. I think a lot of the problem with school is not students being unintelligent or incapable but lazy and always looking for the short cut. Its hard to force yourself to study or sit down and do your work and thats a good attribute to find in an employee and person. Essay and multiple choice questions are the best way to examine a students capability in a subject.

nomadx said...

When I was in school it was a lot like Ms. Smith’s experience. We had to memorize what we needed to know for the test and then remember it for the test. For me I don’t think it worked too well. Once in a while we had open book tests, but sometimes they didn’t tell you in advanced it was open book. And they were hard tests. I like the open note tests we take in Ms. Smith’s class I think for me right now they are the best, however, I don’t know if they help me remember any better or not but all the information you think is important is right there, so if you forget something you can look it up. I was skeptical about those kind of tests at first but now I really like them.

nomadx said...

Ms. Smith
My bolg got posted under nomadx

Precious
I'll show it to you later

Gary Upton said...

I am not sure what the best way of learning is, but I would think that the best way to teach is to use a variety of techniques, since everyone learns in different ways. Today we have so many options including the internet. I don’t like the idea of memorization to pass a test, because you may pass the test and not retain the knowledge. Open note test seam to work well for me, because it forces me to find the information, read it, and write it down. When I take the test I know the information is in my notes, so I feel much more confident and find that I don’t usually need them as much as I would have thought. The internet is something that the younger generation understands and use daily, so it should be a part of the curriculum. In math I find that using the internet for practice test works great; because, I get feedback as soon as I finish a math problem and then see what I did wrong or I know I did it correctly and can move on with confidence. I find essay questions a little more difficult to do on a test, but I also understand that it shows that you understand the concept if you can write out the information in your own words clearly and concisely. The main point is we do all have to find what works for us as individuals, but the schools have to use all the techniques at their disposal to bring out the best in each person. The future of learning has so many great possibilities; and we need to be educated more than ever in this new world of technology and ever increasing competition for employment.

PaviElleS said...

I like it old school and favor just good ol’studying sometimes. Of course, without the Internet, many of my research papers would be a mess. Not just for information, but with formatting too. Using the Internet during exams is kind of odd, but I don’t see the problem with using it to analyze what you’re studying. Open-notes on exams seem to deem better grades. This not only shows that the student listened to the lecture, but is also able to critically think and draw out important information. Often times when we are taking exams it’s hard to regurgitate all the information back out on paper, the brain can only retain so much. Having open-notes accessible also allows students to continue to learn and look back on lectures, which eventually they will remember for a long time compared to just memorizing things to death for the test and forgetting it the next minute.

Kimberly said...

When I was in high school, we had a variety of different types of assessments to enable our brain. We had a number of papers, power point presentations, and closed book exams. I have to say the one in high school that enabled me to think the most was probably the closed book exams, because I had to spend so much time preparing for the test. But, I also think the presentations helped me as well, because of the research, I had to do. There were a few times back in high school that we had open note or open book tests, and I definitely preferred the open note test. Not only does open note test still require you to work hard, because of the notes I had to take in my classes, but also with open note test, you still have to study some before the test, which I liked, and made finding answered in my notes easier. If I was a teacher I would definitely use blogging, for my students, I love the way that during a blog you can express your thoughts and feelings, and you learn something new every day with blogs. I probably would also use both closed an d open note test every once in a while, to mix it up to make sure the student is still working hard and diligently.

Lauren Plunk said...

I adore the concept of online work for school. Our world today has so much more technology and schooling should be able to evolve with it. I have taken many online quizzes, homework assignments, written papers and even taken entire courses online, Not to mention I feel that it was all very effective. Being able to search the web and go back to look at work when you need to is very helpful. Even today some systems involved with internet exams have programs to prevent cheating. Also, looking back and notes repetitively that you have already wrote down can be a good way to learn the material. Not so much in my high school days, but definitely in my college days i use the computer for the majority of my assignments. I don't know what I would do without it. Although i do not believe that all education should turn to being Internet based it can be helpful and should be used at appropriate times. This should help the younger generation keep up with the technology transformations.

AMRI said...

I think that research papers and open-note tests are the best ways to enable a student to retain the knowledge as well as assist in developing critical thinking skills. Research papers force the student to take the time to research material on a particular topic and then put all their findings into a paper. Through the research and then writing the paper, the material is retained. For me personally, this is the most effective. Open note tests are also effective. This forces the student to not just read the material, but write the material. I believe it is time for teachers to get with program and incorporate what is best for the students. What is the point of teaching a class material and the material not be retained? It's a waste of time for not only the teacher but also the students.

rrodriguez30 said...

For me, I would say exams and presentations because I acknowledge more when I repeat a lesson over and over again. I am a hands-on kind of person. I have a photograghic memory, so presenting or building a project together retains my knowledge far more than reading a book. There are many students who would disagree with me for the simple reason of being a fast learner. If I were a professor, I would promote notes taking, presentations, and maybe debates. You need to take time to look through your materials. These methods would be benefical to build real knowledge and memory.

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lost said...

Looking back when I was in school it would spend a ton of time studying to make sure I could recite the information back on the test. A lot of the time somethings didnt make since to me or the light bulb didn't come on. I would have to agree that we spend to much time try to memorize information, instead of applying it to really life that would help with todays society. When i took ethics my third semaster i was happy that our test were open notes it makes you able to understand the material better i think because you have to use context clues to ensure that your reading the right information.This would go hand and hand with using the internet . Allowing students to use the internet would help them to know how to do there own reseach and know what sites are good and reliable sourches of information. If it was up to me i would have all the classes use open notes and the internet to is a very big key to living in todays socitey.

ClickClack said...

When i was in high school i was in advanced placement (AP) classes and got B's on most things except essays that we would do bi-weekly. I think that i did so well on the test because are teacher would make us wright our notes on the chapters which is a wonderful way to study and retain the information. The reason i would do so badly on the essays was because there is no way to study for it. You could practice on you writing but you can never quite prepare for what you were going to do.I think taking notes are important as well as a teachers lecture explaining the notes and enforcements of note taking.

Anonymous said...

I agree with open notes tests, however I cant seem to make an "A" on any of our teachers tests! I feel like I am learning material, but maybe the other students are right!? I can get an "A" in more difficult classes.

JustaGirl said...

I think closed book exams would benefit the student more than open note or open book exams,based on my own personal experience. Personally if I know that I'm going to be given a test on a specific subject that is open notes or open book I'm less likely to really take the time and study or review the material, whereas if the test was going to be closed note closed book I would actually read the material and become more familiar with it because my knowledge of the material would be all that I have to rely on. If I were a professor that is how I would give my tests. I think It would increase attendence and student participation in class if it is known that the information taught must be retained in order to take the test and make a good grade. I think that professors that allow open note open book tests do so out of concern for the students and what would be best for them which is AWESOME!

Ashley Alexander said...

I think that open note exams or presentations are very effective. Taking notes or creating a presentation requires work being put into it. If test are given online it's almost the same as an open book test. Open notes require you to pay attention in class and you'll be exposed to the material at least once. Open notes also help take away the stress of have to memorize or cram. The only positive things I see about Internet-based exams are that they help people who have busy schedules. Everybody learns in different ways so there’s always going to be a person who struggles with the way a teacher teaches and administers exams.

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Athena Smith said...

For those of you who are doing well in open notes tests, please give some advice.
The only thing I can add is that you have to have read the whole chapter to do well. The notes by themselves can be too short...

Thaer said...

When I was in high school, the only thing that i was being taught was memorizing the information. Teachers use to say memorize this, it's going to be on the exam. They really never wanted us to learn anything, just for us to do the studying and memorizing it for the exams. The way I see it, the best way to acually learn te material would be open notes exam and doing class presentations. Open note exams would be better than closed because I can acually comprened the information learn something from it and not just studying for a whole week too memorize the infomation. Class presantations would be a good way for us to learn because it gets everyone involved and could be interesting.

LaurenW said...

I actually think our entire attitude and approach to teaching needs to be updated. I took an ethics class a few years ago and we were taught a theory saying that different people learn differently. We did a little in class experiment and found it seemed in fact to be true. Some people learn better from listening, others from reading, others could only truly understand through hands on interaction, some just needed to see it. I couldn’t help but think how much easier and more efficient school would be if we could somehow analyze first how teachers taught (visually, lectures, or with experiments), then how the students learn and match up the kids with the appropriate teachers. Blogging, movies, books, internet, etc. are all just tools that can aid us and can all be used for any type of “learner”. I think if we indeed want to advance the whole educating process we need to have a better understanding of how individuals learn than analyze what tools would best aid that particular person.

Lindzy22 said...

I feel that tests that are purely based on memorization aren't as effective in the long run. I know from experience that after taking a traditional exam, I walk out of the classroom and forget everything I just memorized. Therefore I think that the most effective exam is open-note tests because, while writing the notes you may not notice right away but you are learning just by writing it down. Also some people get test anxiety so open-note tests can relieve some of that stress and potentially help them do better.

As far as internet tests go, I think that they are useful in some cases such as math. But for other subjects you would have those students who can get around the rules somehow and cheat. Also the internet can be misleading, but if you had a reliable source I guess they could be effective.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Megan Biretz said...

Bascially anything but a regular exam will make you retain more knowledge.

Let's be honest, most students cram (for however long they need to) to remember everything for the test. Then once they put their pencil down, they forget EVERYTHING.

I would have to say the top two information-getters would be research papers and presentations, because you HAVE to spend time on those to get the grade. So, it isn't cramming the night before you turn it in, you will actually read into things and study it. And, well, learn it.

GoGreen said...

During my four years in High School in Indiana, I took mostly AP classes, and that required me to crack down on the books a lot. On every exam, there is always at least an essay at the end. I feel that having my exams not be open book or open notes is better for me because it forces me to really understand the material in order to attain an A. An essay always let me really write down what i have learned. There will be some memorization but if you cant differentiate between certain material when you memorize it, then you will most likely get it mixed up or wrong on the exam. I think that our society has become so lazy and we feel that we have to have exams be open book, open notes, and even refer to the Internet. I think schools that allow students to use the Internet during an exam are absurd. Everything can be found on the Internet these days! I think it only add to the laziness of students. It only reward those who can access the information on the net without understand what it is saying. There are those who do not spend most of their time on the Web but rather studying, and they are the one being punished when it comes to test time because the computer doesn’t influence them tremendously. I think it’s a very bad idea to let students be able to access the Internet during an exam. I think we should stick to your old ways of taking exams and force students to study and not be on the Web all the time or be lazy.

GoGreen said...

Also, if i was a professor, I would only let my students refer to their notes and that is it. At least by allowing my students to use notes, it will force them to actually write it down if they want to use it during my exam. When you write something down, it will also add to the understanding the material better.

Moonbeam said...

When I was in high school, we were not allowed notes during tests, nor did we have the internet back then. It was strictly memorization to prepare for tests. Unfortunately, almost everything that I "memorized" was held in short-term memory, and therefore forgotten after test time. I am finding that taking tests in this class with notes very helpful, and extremely beneficial to my grade.
I believe that all college level tests should be open book or open note. The workplace does not test you on what you can memorize, but what you have the ability to find and look up. Learning is a skill not unlike carpentry, repetetive use of a tool makes it easier to use and memorize how to use. If you are used to seeing material and can reference it at any time, that system should be available.
Open notes and open book tests are simply a tool that is more congruous to the workplace.

Dawn Shepperson said...

When I was in high school, computers were not used (unless it was a computer class) and almost all exams were closed book. The only other formats that were used were research papers and some debates.
Now that I'm in college (for the second time), I am very partial to using the internet for exams. This allows students to have more than the rigid time period of a scheduled class to do the work, and makes it easier for the teacher to grade the assignments. If the test is multiple choice, it can be graded automatically, with the student having the ability to know their score immediately.
If using internet based exams is not appropriate for a particular class, open note tests are great for seeing what people have learned. If you are paying attention in class and write comprehensive notes, you should be retaining the information. Adding in short answer questions helps test comprehension even more.

bluntness said...

When studying for an exam, if I write the information I find that I remember it longer. I have always gotten closed notes exam, so I am used to studying that way. In my opinion, some classes like biology and chemistry should be closed exams and classes like history and sociology should be open notes. If I was a professor, I would do closed notes because that would motivate the students to study and learn. With open notes, a student might write the information without bothering to study because they know the information will be right in front of them when taking a test. Allowing the internet to be used to take exams is taking it too far. Students should be tested on their ability to use their memory or open notes to pass an exam. Not their ability to surf the internet looking for answers.

dawn drake said...

When I went to school there were no study guides, open notes, and internet quizzes. You were expected to maintain the material and pass the test. I have taken classes online and not all teachers have short time periods for the tests. It is easy to look up any answers in the book, or online.

I feel the education system has become lax. Younger students have it easy compared to when I went to school. All my final exams were comprehensive exams over everything we have learned throughout the year, and it was not open note or open study guide. It taught me to retain the information that I had amassed throughout the year. If knowledge is power, how is using open notes and study guides, and not your memorization beneficial, how are you learning anything because you are relying on outside sources?

I think open notes, study guides, and internet testing is an easy fix for educators not to have to make sure that the students are retaining information. Obviously more students are passing classes because of these methods, which makes the educators and institutions look better.

yaya07 said...

From my personal experience I think that presentations have enabled me to retain knowledge the longest because it gives me a visual and important topics are bulleted. Presentations are a lot easier to read and are appealing. I also think that open note exams are a simple way of taking tests and are also very affective. By using notes it gives the student the opportunity to review the things they’ve written so it’s considered their own work at the same time verses an open book when a student is using material from someone else. Or, an internet based exam which contains information looked up by the student but not written down personally. I feel that open note exams are the most efficient way of giving tests to students. Open note exams give the students a responsibility to take their own notes on the subject and being able to use that knowledge that was written down.

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Gerald Dodd said...

When I think back to my schooling in high school I remember that I would remember the material better when the whole class would get in to a big debate over the subject. I think that I remembered it better because it was hands on learning that I would study for so I wouldn’t sound stupid when I was forced to participate in the debate. Along with in class debates I also think that research papers are another good way to retain material. I think that because u have to look up information and you have to write out so you get twice the practice. Now if I was a professor I would use both of these methods to teach along with maybe so short answer homework questions.

P-Walk3 said...

I think that we should be tested many different ways so that student are forced to learn many different ways. I don't think any one of these in particular is better than the others but collectively they would test student overall knowledge of a subject matter. This helps students become well rounded in all facets of learning. The only thing that separates one from another is a teacher's or student's preference to which one helps them achieve the best scores. Although, online tests are becoming increasing popular this is my least favorite because it requires no learning for tests that are multiple choice because you can search the answer, I think the most learning with an online test would take place through short answer or essay type tests that makes the student develop an idea.

pricethepig2002 said...

In my opinion I think that open-note exams, including those that are internet-based, are an exceptional way to learn and judge students’ knowledge. With the Internet being such a necessity in today’s society, students should learn how to utilize the web to the best of their ability. Students are better able to retain information when they take and study notes based on lectures and debates they must attend during class. These notes show their preparedness and this is rewarded with better grades on tests, students who do not pay attention or take notes usually have a much more difficult time scoring higher grades.

Mudbeaver said...

Personally, i can't comment on exams taken in high school. I never made it out of my freshman year. I just took the GED test and passed with average scores. Most of it was comprehension and whatever you didn't know, you had to dissect the answers to best of your ability to relate to the questions. However, through my endeavours in college, i have found that taking notes and being able to use them during tests still allowed me to learn the material. I can remember writing it down when i come across a question on the exam but maybe not every minor detail in my notes. Note cards being used as flash cards has been my greatest asset when taking tests without notes, especially when highlighting both sides with different colors. I have taken a few classes where we were allowed to use the internet and honestly and i didn't apply myself to work nearly as hard when all i had to do was type in phrases in various search engines that gave me the quick answer i needed. I've also learned that wikipedia can be misleading. I am a major in electronics engineering so memorization will get you no where real quick. Its best to learn the material because critical thinking is always needed when desinging, installing and troubleshooting all digital home technology integration.

justfish247 said...

I believe that all tests have their own distinct merits and uses. I believe good teachers are the ones that analyze the content of the class and figure out the best ways for it to be presented and how to test for it. Although I do realize that some teachers are limited by the institutions they work for and deliver the content of the course the way they are directed to. Some class topics require memorization, thus the closed book memorization skill is of distinct importance. Some subjects require constant research, thus a research paper may be what is required for the specific topic. For me, I would have to say that open note tests are great for understanding content as they have the student read the material and then decipher what is important in that material. This makes the student read all the material and dissect all the information in the material writing down what is important and not writing down what they deem unimportant. What I would like to see is something along the lines of more presentation/debate. Teachers can tell the effort put into these types of projects and this will allow the students to discuss the material which allows the teacher to act as a type of moderator guiding the session along.

hrayy09 said...

In high school the majority of my tests were closed book so I had to memorize everything. After I completed the test, I could not remember anything if someone would ask me a question about the subject four days later. I think open-note tests are the best way because personally I use notes in class but also look in the book and read and get some notes out of there too. Instead of memorizing, I am understanding the concepts and I remember the information longer. If I were a professor I would allow my students to use open-notes but without internet use. I think using the internet gives direct answers and whats the point in understanding the subject if everyone is just getting the direct answers? Yes, they do have to search for it but I think that should have been done prior to the test.

Anderson11 said...

As technology evolves, information becomes much more easy to find. A very large number of people who have an iPhone, the Verizon Droid, or any simple Blackberry. They have access to unlimited amounts of information that is out on the web, in the palm of their hand. So I strongly believe that in the very near future this is how the world will be. Instead of a large number of people having this awesome access, its going to be the whole world. Yes much of this information that is out there must be understood in certan circumstances. For example a doctor cannot use his phone to look up how to stop the bleeding of someone who is dying. But maybe someone who cannot get the dying person to a doctor fast enough might look up how to stop the bleeding. The internet is very very useful and to some degree, it should be allowed on exams.

ycampos said...

I think internet based exams is not a bad idea. I often find the exams that are either open book or open-note to be the ones that I take most out of. Although, research papers do require one to sit down and find and learn certain information, I find that they are too specific to be really valued as one of the most important forms of learning the material. They are too focused in my opinion. If you want to study very specifically then a research paper is a good tool to use. Internet based exams offers the same effectiveness than open note and open book, it still requires one to seek out the information and verify the accuracy of such information. I actually have had a class where it was okay to use the internet during an exam. I found that it helped retain the information that was learned during the course with an modern perspective.

Deborah said...

I don't think internet exams are a good way to assess a students knowledge. I learn best by hearing and watching someone in front of me. I personally do not like taking tests off of the internet. Writing something down is better for learning. Looking at computer screens can also be bad for your eyes. If all the students in the class are doing work off of the computer there is not real interaction going on. The only thing I think the internet is good for in schools is in the library for research.

KeyKey said...

As a professor I prefer online games to be able to get through the book. Some visualization puzzles of models like for instance Medical Terminology has diagrams of body parts that the student labels over and over until they get them all correct. Also I think multiple choice questions on the information from the book with links connected is always nice. The different links that would be connected to the multiple choice questions would include sections of the book where the question arrived from. Also I would plug in all articles and books from the class into a reader. I think the reader will help students get thought the book faster. Another thing I would do as a professor would be to stick with the same wording that comes out the book in lectures. Since the student who read the book should know the terminology that comes out of the book. Therefore, it keeps down on misunderstanding when it comes to test. My Sociology class is set up pretty close to this the only things different is that I am unable to plug my book to a reader. And I found out the heard way that note taking don’t work for me.

SkipperJ said...

I believe that education systems almost everywhere in the United States rely on the internet to help students learn. When i was in high school we went to the computer lab every week to research topics for a paper or project we were working on. Personally I perfer to use internet at school to work on projects,exams, and papers. I found that taking notes and studying them along with certain websites that were given by the teacher to look at really helped me get a full grasp of what was going on so I could have maximum sucess on a test or project. Now that I am in college most of my classes still deal a lot with online classes and I still feel that with all of the side notes that help you understand the material it is the best way to learn.

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sean1391 said...

Today's society uses a lot of technology and people do not think for themselves. In some areas of study, open notes and books could be very useful. Allowing open notes on an exam, insures that most of the students will take the extra step to write them and while doing so, retain some of the information. In other areas of study like English, it should be done by memorization. In some areas of study, you have to have a good base to start with. I do feel allowing students to use the internet for exams, would not allow them to think for themselves and only show that they can "Google" information. We should not forget that not all the information on the internet is reliable and correct.

Sunny said...

In high school I had to rely mainly on memorization. Everything i had to study if I memorized I would do well. It did not matter if I actually understood the material. I would have preferred more critical thinking tests that were more challenging so I would actually understand the material rather than memorize and forget. A major benefit in high school would have been being able to use notes on exams. However, I also feel as if so students would not even pay attention or study if they took notes. In college I feel that only in the prerequisite classes you should be able to use notes on exams to help you get the material and concepts of the course. So when you take the higher level course you are tested on your knowledge and taught upon your previous and general understanding of the course and its material.

Sunny said...

In high school I had to rely mainly on memorization. Everything i had to study if I memorized I would do well. It did not matter if I actually understood the material. I would have preferred more critical thinking tests that were more challenging so I would actually understand the material rather than memorize and forget. A major benefit in high school would have been being able to use notes on exams. However, I also feel as if so students would not even pay attention or study if they took notes. In college I feel that only in the prerequisite classes you should be able to use notes on exams to help you get the material and concepts of the course. So when you take the higher level course you are tested on your knowledge and taught upon your previous and general understanding of the course and its material.

Vivianle said...

Throughout my high school years, many of my test were closed books so that forced me to read and MEMORIZE the material not LEARN it. Although I may learn a few things of the material, but it’s not enough. I prefer open notes because I can read the material then write it down. That helps me better because I am reciting it and learning that it is important information to know. As of the internet, it should only be open to research papers and containing information, such as notes. It should not be used for test because it provides direct answers if searched correctly. So, giving the student internet access on exam means they will not study and learn anything. Therefore, I prefer open notes test because it helps me learn a more efficient way then just memorization.

missjai23 said...

I believe that actually doing the work and researching helps anyone to retain information the longest and help with critical thinking skills. As for me doing the work helps me more than anything. If I were a professor, I would use the combination of open notes, use of the internet and research papers. You have to be able to research throughout your life anyways so why not have use of the internet. When researching it helps with the critical thinking part; you start questioning why and then you are able to seek out the answer, therefore you get a better understanding of the subject matter at hand.

spatel said...

in my opinion, I have learned best when education is interesting,and when students get to interact with others.I learned best from doing research papers,studying hand-outs,communicating with your classmates.Also I learned from having open note tests,and quizzes.A professor I know gives my classmates and I a lot of homework so we can learn.So,far I have learned a lot from her class.Lastly,presentations help me learn for a class also.

itszmeweksos said...

I totally agree with internet base learning! I think it will help students memorize and reproduce the material in a much more efficient way. Rather then have us listen to lectures and then studying for a test which is all based on memorization and most kids these days have a hard time with studying, let alone memorizing the material for the test. So, I'm definitely for Internet base learning!

Engineer09 said...

I am not sure if Internet would be beneficial to use during tests or exams. I asked people if they remember the information after they have taken online quizzes with internet access, if they remembered the information that the received. The best answer I received was that “if it wasn’t timed I remembered the information, but if I only had a few moments for each question, then I didn’t bother to pay attention”. So if tests didn’t time a person, then maybe internet based tests and exams may be beneficial. Also, to claim that one can get rid of emails and instant messaging from computers is a physical impossibility as long as one has internet. In my high school each student had their own laptop. There were students in 9th grade making proxies that could allow a student to bypass the system blocks. I am well educated on how computers work and I know that there is never a perfect protection with internet as a base source. Also the school had components within the laptop to monitor, but they caught students who had removed the hardware that held all the software and replaced it with their own, therefore preventing the main monitor from seeing what they do. So I would have to say the use of Internet during tests would have to be a decision that needs to weigh all the aspects before jumping onto the bandwagon. Because as technology increases so does the responsibility.

Nermin Mohamed said...

Debates, blogs, open notes exams and research papers are the types pf assessment that enables me to retain the information the longest. If I were a teacher, I would assess my students with debates, blogs, research papers, and open notes exams. Debates and blogs allow the students to express their views and at the same time understand the different views of other students. So, they learn to think outside of the box and respect and tolerate different opinions. Research papers lets the students search for information and write it in their own words, so this allows them to learn and remember the information that they have researched. I also think that open notes exam are great for critical thinking as students have to concentrate in class and take notes, so they retain the information better.

hondasi2007 said...

I personally think that the open note tests are the best. Because if you give people an exam review they will memorize what is on that and thats it. If you don't tell them whats on it then they will have to look over all of their notes and through the book. When you allow them to use the notes is an awesome way to reward the students that have taken notes. In todays world people keep getting lazier because their is no reward for being nice. Also it depends on if the student is paying attention in class on how much the notes will help or sometimes they can hurt the people that just take a few notes will think they have the right answer when they don't.

monimar9302 said...

The best way for me to learn would be by researching or open note tests. I know if all I need to do is memorize certain answers for the test, I forget everything I just memorized because I do not need to think or use it anymore. If I had to do a research paper this will push me to actually learn and find the information I need for the exam or paper. Open note tests are also another great way to learn. The internet is the best way to research vs back in the day when all we had were encyclopedias to work from. I believe we have come a great way with technology and we need to utilize it.

silk said...

When I was in high school as well in college the type of assessment that helps me to attain information the longest will be research papers because it forced me to search and do a lot of reading to find information pertaining to my research. If I was a professor I would suggest presentations and debates because it actually allows you do research and reading to find out information on what you going present or debate and by doing that most people end up retaining the information.

Karly B. said...

I think that every student is different and learns a different way. One student might find papers and reports efficient, while others perform better with multiple choice. I like the idea of open note tests because as I write, I read, learn and retain the information. If I can't remember a certain topic, I can look at the notes and its like a "Aha" moment, remembering the information. For me,trying to memorize, hoping to remember all the important details, can tend to be stressful. Now, as far as the internet-based exams, I can see the benefit of keeping up with the technological times but not to sure on the reliability of students not looking up the answers. If that wasn't an issue then I see no problem with them.

NHamilton said...

I think that researching and doing hands on work is the most effective way for students to learn. Memorization is difficult, takes a long time and can be really boring. Students will loose interest quickly and not learn as much as they would if they were able to debate and discuss the topics needed to be learned. Open note tests allow students to write down everything they need to learn for the test which makes the material easier to remember. Closed book tests are very stressful and overwhelming for students because the amount of information needed to make a good grade on the test is a lot.It is difficult to memorize a lot of information in a short amount of time.

Mike B. said...

Michael Burkenfield

As i have recently just graduated highschool i am familiar with multiple ways of taking tests. i have had tests that were closed book and multiple choice and i have had closed book with essays. I personally think that essay questions helped me learn more in those situations due to the fact that i had to recall information not just recognize it. i have also had open bok and open note tests. while these were easy to pass i feel like i did not learn and retain as much information as i wanted.while in college i have taken open note tests and closed book tests. while i like the open notes tests because they are easy to pass if i am just taking the class as a class that i need to take but dont care about i will gladly use notes. however if i care about the class i will try to refrain from using note. i however will not bring notes i believe that throughout your carrer you are going to be able to refer to your notes in situations.but i feel like some people just rely on them to much.I only find one problem with taking a test and being able to use the internet and that is the fact that the internet contains sites that do not always have correct information and if used can be harmful to that student passing that class or learning any of the relevant informatioon for that course

Jesse said...

Memorization has never helped in the long-run for me. Debates on the other hand have. When professors allow students to have a debate on the subjects they learned on topics that are related it allows for the students to get a better understanding of the subject and topics and it is easier for them to retain that information. Debates also help with critical thinking because the students have to support their statements and it also allows them to see different view points. Internet is also a great way for students to learn more and helps them better understand the material. Internet has so much more information then a lot of text books that cost money everytime that there is an updated version, while the internet on the other hand is always being updated and is always there to use without buying new text books everytime there is an updated copy.

ycolon said...

Its becoming harder and harder nowadays to keep students focused on learning new materials. If i were a teacher i would incorporate as much student involvement as possible. I personally cannot just learn and retain information by just memorization of notes. It takes class participation and discussions to be able to use the information i have learned in later instances. In some cases i do agree that the only way to succeed in a classroom environment is by memorizing notes. But who is to say that you will remember what you have learned after you take the test. The internet on the other hand should be used for research purposes and to get a better understanding of the subject, but usually cannot be reliable for test-taking.

Latifah Aziz said...

If I was a professor I would use different combinations of assessments. The different assessments would consider open book exams, open notes exams, as well as writing research papers. Although open book and open notes exams may not require a lot of studying it still helps in learning the exam material. If a student is not very aware of the material in the exam then, it would take them a much longer time to find the answers to the exam by using open book. Also by using open notes; it helps the student to learn and be more aware of the information that’s on the exam.

A student can study as hard as possible and as long as possible but still forget the information that was presented on the exam. With just using memorization sometimes you may understudy or over study. That’s why I feel like open book, open notes and writing research papers are best when preparing for or taking an exam.

fullbluemoon said...

Testing in schools is continuing to change. Some to extremes, going from traditional in class to at home internet based. I feel that in order to have an efficient internet based test you would first need an efficient teaching method to ensure that all of the students are being taught effectively. Internet testing works well if the information needed to answer questions correctly was provided in a way in which access might be a good challenge. I do also believe that traditional in class testing should still be used in many schools. Some students will test better in different ways but once teachers expand their tests they will gain a new concept.

Mariana Yarleque said...

I believe that, although many would still refer to closed-book testing, open notes would be the most efficient. If given the option of using a textbook during the test, a majority of students will most likely not fully prepare, knowing they could fall back on their book as a resource. With the option of a basic closed book test, it is as many have mentioned: basically a game of memorizing information to simply pass the test, and forgetting it immediately after. However, with open notes testing, the student is required to take thorough notes if desiring a high score. It is on them to apply themselves on how much information they want to take note of. That is why, in my opinion, the best form would be open notes testing.

Nga Nguyen said...

In my opinion, the students in this century rely on the use of internet and then comes the memorization of things. There is no actual critical thinking involved when teachers give multiple choice exams. When they are studying for exams it is more of memorization than critical thinking and then after they take the test all the things they memorized will go out the other ear. It is hard to admit but the assessment of class presentations, research papers, and debates are useful ways to get students to think critically. If I was a professor, I would give my students a combination of clas presentations and debates, also sometimes closed book exams. I honestly think it is cool that students in that Danish High School get to use the internet for their exams, but at the same time I know that it won't help their mind to expand. Since I am a student it as much as I dislike closed book exam or closed notes exams it is useful in a way.

Dijabou said...

I think that closed book exams based on pure memorization does not allow students to expand and convey the true extent of their learning the material. School need to use newer and more thinking oriented exams to allow students the room to use what they learn. I think that essay questions involving opinions would be a great way to allow students to reiterate what they learn along with relating it to their own opinions and lives. Also debating topics helps students understand two sides to an issue and relate it to other ideas coming from their peers. Another great way to test students is open book tests and research papers. Learning should not be a perfect regurgitation of info from a student but how well the student can use the knowledge they have gained.

riverchild said...

I think that a combination of different teaching and knowledge acquisition methods should be employed to maximize knowledge retention and develop critical thinking. I feel that I learn best with an instructor that engages the class with debate and discussion. I’ve taken some classes where the professor does nothing but talk the entire time, as if she were video recording a lecture for an online class, even though there are forty students sitting in front of her. If an instructor actually teaches the material to me, I find that I actually learn something.

I recently showed up to one of my classes entirely unprepared to take an exam of which, because of my own fault, I was unaware was scheduled. The exam was an open-note exam, but I had not prepared my notes prior to the exam, as I typically do. I had no notes, I had not read any of the chapters, and I had not studied any of the material or study guides. I received a B on the exam however; due to the engaging lectures my professor gives.