Paint by numbers?

Interesting article in the NZ Herald about plagiarism ad worth a read… In essence it seems OK to memorize exemplars to gain Excellence…

But NZ History Teachers Association treasurer Greg Burnard said memorising previous years’ exemplars was “reasonably widespread across the country”. “Memorising an exemplar is not going to be punished, essentially,” he said. “It’s not seen as cheating, it’s just seen as being well prepared.”

I remember the most challenging exam question I ever had was in a Computer Science paper by Professor John Hine… He gave us a picture of a microcomputer chip – one  we had never seen before. The question was pretty much explain the components, what do they do, how do they work, how would you improve the design (or something like that)…  And it was open book, although when testing understanding open book does not help at all.

I suspect there is not a huge incentive to change external examinations too much – this may lead to a decline in “pass rates”… or am I being too cynical.

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