Moving away from a school environment where collaborating considered to be cheating
In 2012 I wore an article for KQED “For exams, is using the internet considered cheating?”. That was because Norway had just opened up for the use of the internet during exams in some chosen subjects. I wrote in the article;
The world is constantly changing and keeping up with even the most important new content is difficult. Imagine writing about global challenges like famine, drought or global warming without being able to look up any information (these are topics likely to be addressed in the exam). Instead of barring the Internet, students should be taught how to filter the information, judge its credibility, and use it to build logical arguments and greater understanding. If communication and collaboration are valued 21st-century skills, it will not be possible to hone these skills unless exams are changed in radical ways. KQED
Can we cancel exams the second year around, or alternatively, can we reimagine exams? Can we let our students take the exams online, using material they have saved and learned throughout this year? Perhaps a cross-curricular exam where many subjects are included, and the use of the internet is not looked on as cheating? Should students be allowed to show that they master the subjects in other ways than sitting an exam? Is it time to change? Or at least imagine that we can? The article I wrote in 2012 ended this way;
If communication and collaboration are valued 21st-century skills, it will not be possible to hone these skills unless exams are changed in radical ways.
I still believe that to be true. Other countries are starting to look into this as well. It looks like the beginning of the end of America’s obsession with student standardized tests; Washington Post. England’s exam system is broken – let’s never put it together again, The Guardian.