Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Bright Idea About Take Home Exams -- From Yale, of All Places!

The idea: Don't give them. So reports the Yale Daily News.

Admirably stating the obvious for the benefit of faculty who, in New Haven as in Cambridge, apparently can't be counted on to figure it out for themselves,
[Dean of Yale College Mary] Miller and Graduate School Dean Thomas Pollard urged professors who use take-home final examinations to consider switching to an in-class examination. Though the University has traditionally discouraged take-home exams, Miller said, she wanted to re-emphasize other options in light of the recent events at Harvard. In-class examinations enable students to better balance their finals schedule and maintain a healthier lifestyle during the exam period because on take-home finals, students often take more time than the three hours budgeted for in-class examinations, she said.
I wonder: Is there less a sense at Yale than there is at Harvard that professors shall not be told how best to run their courses? The only advice Harvard has given its faculty is to be clear about our collaboration policies, and to meet with our departmental colleagues "to share best practices on how we can each foster a culture of honesty and integrity in our classes and learning assessments," as Dean Smith put it in his late-August email to faculty. 

As I have said since the beginning, the "cheating scandal" seems to me less an issue of student culture than one of faculty behavior. For some reason, they seem less afraid to talk about that in New Haven.

1 comment:

  1. No scandal involving scores of students (pardon the pun) to focus national attention on the university...yet.

    Give it time, pity the students.