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View Diary: The algebra formula that saved an industry (258 comments)

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  •  I most feared "open book" math/engineering tests (13+ / 0-)

    ...in college, because I knew from experience that the sort of professor willing to allow that was nearly always savvy enough to construct their tests so that the true challenge was figuring out how to set up the problem correctly, rather than the actual difficulty of solving it once set up.  So, in general there was a good correlation between the generosity of the types of material and aids you were allowed to consult during the test, and the level of problem-solving insight and skills you needed to have developed in the particular subject-area beyond rote cook-book plug-n-chug type solutions.  The problems posed never straightforwardly resembled any of the text or classroom examples - there was always genuine understanding and insight required to set the problem up in a way that you could make use of any of the forumulas in the text.  The most fearful tests of all were those where you could consult anything but another person.

    •  You mean thinking is harder than memorization? (6+ / 0-)

      The title is slightly snarky - not to imply that you were averse to thinking.

      However, education should always push students to think about how to set up problems for subsequent solution.

      Current education systems are generally not doing that. Quite the opposite. Large quantities of multiple choice tests lead to students who have long since specialized in memorization.

      -2.38 -4.87: Damn, I love the smell of competence in the morning!

      by grapes on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 11:29:46 AM PDT

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    •  Ah, the open book infinite time exam (0+ / 0-)

      You knew you were in for it.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:35:12 AM PDT

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