Why is examination the measure by which we judge an individual’s understanding of material? I have had this inability to take tests well since I was a child. It’s not to say I’m unintelligent or I can’t have a conversation about the material being covered, what it does say is I am a very poor test taker. I have had classes (some very recently) where examination was the end-all-be-all of performance measurement. Pure memorization of safety principles that can and should be referenced in a manual before it is applied in practice just to be sure you don’t kill anyone by performing addition where you should have been performing subtraction.
Instead why can’t performance by gauged by assignments and discussion with the instructor? I would prefer a challenging take home exam to a standardized in class assessment any day of the week. Sure – it’s more challenging to grade, but students can take more away from something they have had time to sit and reflect on in depth rather than having to cram the material into their heads for an exam that they will forget 15 minutes after they leave the room.
Why can’t knowledge be measured by the ability to carry on intelligent conversation and contribute ideas to the field? Why must so much weight be placed on one task?