[lbo-talk] Good riddance

Miles Jackson cqmv at pdx.edu
Fri Apr 8 20:54:55 PDT 2011

On 04/08/2011 11:38 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:
> Why not just abolish tests. It would be easier to force schols to do
> that than to force them to engage in some complex rigamarole with tests.
> Carrol

I've been teaching an online intro Psych course this year, and it required me to reevaluate my assessment methods. Typically, I give my students closed book in class exams; however, there are many practical problems with doing this in online classes (e.g., how can I make sure students are taking a closed book exam when they take a test online?). So I decided to just eliminate the exams and quizzes. Every week, students are given case studies, and they must apply the course concepts to the cases. For instance, students are given an example of a particular psychological problem such as generalized anxiety disorder, and they explain how the psychoanalytic, cognitive, behaviorist, and biomedical perspectives could be applied to treat the disorder. They may consult any relevant sources to provide cogent answers. I've discovered that this approach allows me to determine which students truly understand the different psychological perspectives, and most students appreciate the focus on critical application rather than rote memorization. I wouldn't have said this a few years ago, but I'm with Carrol now: abolish tests. We don't need them to meaningfully assess learning.


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