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General Chat Thread, Blog: Cheating in school ICT and other subjects in General; Originally Posted by jdoyle Now, can anyone explain how to go about doing cryptic crosswords or would that be cheating? ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post
    Now, can anyone explain how to go about doing cryptic crosswords or would that be cheating?
    If I told you the answers or gave you a clue to what answer would be before hand then yes, but if I explained the method behind it and left you to it, no. That's the whole point. Subjects should be about understanding, not being force fed facts and figures and being taught how to regurgitate them up parrot fashion.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post
    presumably the year on year improvements in results are all down to cheating...
    Theres no way to tell as the goal posts have moved so far that a 90s GCSE isn't comparable with a GCSE in 2011. The Science exams for example;

    multiple choice - we all know that's far easier than having to remember the answer as there is nothing to jog your memory and you can't randomly guess A,B,C,D

    modular exams - really how hard is it to remember something you were told only a few weeks ago, thats assuming you were listening.

    unlimited stabs at the modules - apart from the obvious advantage of getting another go at it if you don't do well and then being able to see where to struggled and take appropriate action, the fear of knowing you get 1 go and if you fail you have to go to college for another go compared to "if I don't do well I get another go"... that alone makes it incomparable.
    Also for modular exams you know exactly what to revise, in 1 big exam you have to revise everything just in case it comes up.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 8th December 2011 at 07:44 PM.

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    modular exams - really how hard is it to remember something you were told only a few weeks ago, thats assuming you were listening.
    But if the exam is only testing recall of facts, it's pretty much useless. Exams are a pedagogically flawed form of assessment that is being held on to purely because it's what we've always done.

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    jdoyle (9th December 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    But if the exam is only testing recall of facts, it's pretty much useless.
    True but it doesn't have to be. If you ask what or when (etc) then it is purely about facts, once you ask why it is about understanding...

    (Obviously this is very general and there are subjects which are completely different like maths)


    That could also be where modular exams could be flawed; how do you ask about the greater picture when all you can quiz on is one specific topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    But if the exam is only testing recall of facts, it's pretty much useless. Exams are a pedagogically flawed form of assessment that is being held on to purely because it's what we've always done.
    That's almost exactly what happended with the MCSE about 10-11 years back. The market was hit by masses of 'paper pass' MCSE qualified bods who has simply crammed the information required to pass instead of spending lots of time using the operating systems in a real world environment and learning how it all works. Thankfully Microsoft saw what was happening and addressed the problem. Not before a lot of damage was done to the reputation of the MCSE as a professional qualification though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    True but it doesn't have to be. If you ask what or when (etc) then it is purely about facts, once you ask why it is about understanding...
    But isn't it better to examine these things in a more realistic context? So rather than an exam saying "explain why x" have coursework that allows students to show that they understand x and how it can be applied practically in something approaching the real world?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    But isn't it better to examine these things in a more realistic context? So rather than an exam saying "explain why x" have coursework that allows students to show that they understand x and how it can be applied practically in something approaching the real world?
    In theory... But coursework has many cons too; Who did the work, mum and dad...? Plagiarism. Pointers from teachers. Depending on the kids life and other subject choices extending coursework might be impractical*. Not to say exams don't have there drawbacks. Until we have a system where schools aren't competing with each other, and are purely doing what is best for the child, assessments of any kind are going to have their cons and be open to abuse.


    *Personally I think there's too much homework and coursework. Childhood is not only about learning, social skills play an equal, if not greater, role in a persons success. As they say, it's not what you know...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    That's almost exactly what happended with the MCSE about 10-11 years back. The market was hit by masses of 'paper pass' MCSE qualified bods who has simply crammed the information required to pass instead of spending lots of time using the operating systems in a real world environment and learning how it all works. Thankfully Microsoft saw what was happening and addressed the problem. Not before a lot of damage was done to the reputation of the MCSE as a professional qualification though.
    This sounds remarkably familiar to conversations at the Exams review we went to where one of the reasons for going to online assessment was to stop some of the 'preparation' and to make them more applicable to the individual person being examined ...

    Next we will hear about online testing being brought in for KS2 and KS4 ... but perhaps they might trial it first with KS3 since they don't have to do any tests now ...

    Cynic? Moi?



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