Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh, Pleeeeeze

If there is one thing that could not be clearer it is that people like us should not be burdened with writing exams or grading them. It is like asking a brain surgeon to repair a hang nail. It is for that reason that I use machine graded multiple choice exams. I try hard to keep the questions secret so they can be used each year but, if they leak out, it is not my problem.

I am way to busy doing research, planning summer programs and trips, playing tennis and getting massages to be concerned about some ill-prepared annoying students droning on about an issue he barely understands. I used to give essay questions. OK, more accurately, I almost gave them once which is effectively the same thing. Then I thought, "What will I learn from reading these?" Answer: Nothing. Then "How will this benefit me at all?" Answer: Not at all.

I have tried to talk some sense to professor of my ilk -- well-bred, well-trained -- but some still resist. Oh sure, sometimes there are complaints about my exams being recycled and machine graded but it is generally from students who are stubborn about not realizing what a gift it is to have me as a professor at all.

Dean Bumble has said nothing about it and for good reason. His philosophy of deaning seems to be based on multiple choice with the answer usually being "none of the above."

1 comment:

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