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Final Exam and Notes

Started by HigherEd7, December 03, 2023, 03:06:27 PM

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Quote from: jerseyjay on December 04, 2023, 08:34:59 AMI am a historian and give essay exams.

When I was a student, I was often allowed to bring in a sheet of notes or something, which I found useful to avoid having to memorize exact dates and focus on "the big picture".

When I started teaching, I allowed students to bring their book and one sheet of notes. Over time I allowed students to bring a dictionary, because I teach a lot of foreign students. I also tend to give a sheet of say five possible questions of which I will select two to be on the exam.

Over the past few years, I stopped allowing students to bring a sheet of notes for the reason noted above; students started writing (or typing) out answers, and I started seeing more and more plagiarism on a blue book exam.

I eliminated the notes option. I still let students bring the text books and a dictionary.

Neither my undergrad profs nor those at the R1 where I was a TA ever seemed to allow this.  I wonder whether letting students bring some limited notes that they had to prepare carefully would have prevented some of the stream-of-consciousness stuff I recall grading on blue book essays?
If any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?


I was allowed this for some of my graduate and undergraduate physics exams. The professors who did not allow it said more or less that it allows them to make the exam a bit easier.


I don't limit the time per question, just the time to take the exam. We used to be able to do Scantron and I could hold the exam in class and hand out bubble sheets. Now I have to choose between online or printing out vast amounts of paper - which I might do next semester just to be ornery.
"I know you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure that what you heard was not what I meant."