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Topic: Dreadful situation!!
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 3, 1996 1:38 AM

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Rex Boggs

Posts: 80
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Dreadful situation!!
Posted: Aug 3, 1996 1:38 AM
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Hi Kent

From Kent:
> What's wrong with [external exams]? It's far better than driving out the
> good teachers by taking away their academic freedom! Departmental finals
> are also effective.

Kent, I realise this was a private email you sent me, but I am taking
the liberty to post my reply to the list, as I am sure others may feel
the same way that you do. And the discussion did start on the list.

An external exam takes away much more freedom than our system. The
syllabuses have a nice blend of being prescriptive (eg I _have_ to teach
the chain rule when I am teaching differential calculus) while still
allowing a great deal of latitude (eg I can teach about Chaos within the
topic of complex numbers).

I also have the opportunity (some would say the burden) of setting my
own assessment. But I do have to be careful that the assessment is of a
good standard, and differentiates between students. If the challenge of
creating an excellent exam isn't motivating enough, knowing that it will
be scrutinized by my colleagues certainly is! Professional pride counts
for a lot here.

I also have the freedom to discount a student's results on a particular
piece of assessment if there is justification, such as extended illness
or a death in the family.

These freedoms would not be possible with an external exam.



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