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Final Exam V Coursework and Modules

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Showing 26-33 of 33 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2013 15:42:08 GMT
Spin says:
CE; If you only read books it could hardly be called "Astronomy". =) A photography group with no cameras, a sailing club with no boats...or, as is common today in most schools, an IT course with no computers...

Posted on 26 Jan 2013 15:46:36 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Quite so, Spin. Meanwhile, on here, we have quite a few mouths with no brains.

Not you, of course! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2013 16:42:29 GMT
You can learn the theory.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2013 18:53:19 GMT
Spin says:
CE; But in any discipline or interest theory is useless without the practical.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 13:30:55 GMT
Ian says:
Except perhaps theoretical physics. And pure maths. Perhaps philosophy? And politics would be better if most of them stuck to the theory and stayed away from the practical.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 13:42:03 GMT
Spin says:
IN; I disagree. That is why I question the hypotheses of Quantum physics and cosmology. There is no practical proof for some of the propositions it puts forward; like religion, it relies on faith, not objective, experential evidence. But that statement brings us to the question of the value of what is being taught in schools...

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 16:33:24 GMT
Ian says:
Not a lot of quantum physics or cosmology is taught in schools spin - but there can sometimes be too much focus on learning facts and not enough on how we came by these facts and how we design experiments to find new facts.

It's easier with younger year groups where there is no exam syllabus to teach or external exam to play with designing investigations and testing hypotheses. But part of the problem is that in order to design really worthwhile investigations you need a body of knowledge. I teach in a secondary school and love teaching the younger years (where we can investigate anything we like) and 6th year (where my students are just about starting to be able to design genuinely interesting experiments). The years in between are largely about stuffing facts into kids' heads; the problem is if we move too far from this then universities and employers complain.

In terms of final exam v coursework; perhaps there is an argument for both? In Scotland the (soon to be defunct) Standard Grade certificate breaks students' performance into several areas (in science there are 3; Knowledge & Understanding, Problem Solving and Practical Skills). Why can a certificate not be broken down in this way - with separate grades for coursework and final exam, plus an overall grade if that's all an employer or university want. Both have their merits and many students perform better in one than the other, surely that's the point of an exam certificate?

I know as a student I excelled in exams and I suspect many of my generation who ended up in teaching did (which shows how useless those exams were if the best you could do with them was go back to school and teach the next generation the same largely useless skills), the younger generation which followed us had more coursework and less emphasis in final exams. So guess what - older teachers favour final exams and younger ones favour coursework.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 22:07:55 GMT
Roma says:
Hi My main gripe with coursework is the verification of its authenticity. I know of parents who have been overly involved in their children's coursework or have paid tutors to be so. I know that teachers collude with this due to pressure exerted on them by their superiors intent on securing good school results and a satisfactory place on the league table.

Work should be completed under controlled conditions, but often is done without any supervision. With regard to units that are completed in class, pupils/students are allowed too remediate these as many times as they wish until they are of an suitable standard for external verification.

Another problem is that teachers can find it difficult to assess pupils objectively, adopting instead a halo and horns method of assessment. Those who put in the effort pass whilst those who don t fail. It s also difficult for some teachers to separate their nurturing role from their role assessor.
I therefore believe that all assessments must be completed under exam conditions and marked externally to ensure their validity.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  33
Initial post:  23 Jan 2013
Latest post:  29 Jan 2013

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