Thursday, January 15, 2015

Comprehensive semester exams need to go

When the goal of learning for learning’s sake runs smack into the wall of semester exams...

That’s what it felt like today in my mastery-based class. I’ve been doing my best to use autonomy, mastery and purpose to motivate students instead of grades. But how do you do that when you’re up against a comprehensive semester exam?

If that exam is not based on standards that are inherently meaningful to students--if the exam itself does not tap into autonomy, mastery, or purpose, then you’re stuck. It becomes an irritating parenthesis in an otherwise increasingly authentic learning experience.

Solution: Get rid of comprehensive exams and replace them with a more authentic assessment.

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