Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Are We Really Sure That Our Successful Students Are Really Successful?

I was reading a post by Donte Rome where he says:


' I've been in college for about 3 years now and it amazes me how i can pass classes without ever having to buy the books for them. I can just google any information i need and the informations is just as accurate.'

This made me wonder, Are our successful students really successful? If our students can make it through our classes by using a search engine are we really measuring what we should be measuring? What do you think?

10 comments:

Kevin said...

Yes - good point. It's the "thank you, wikipedia" syndrome.

Assessments and assignments need to be designed to test application of skills and knowledge. It should be impossible to 'Google the answer' or to get stock answers from plagiarism sites.

Surely it's not beyond the creativity of educators to design assignments/assessments in this way?

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Kevin It's more than just finding the information, I think that the information must be re-purposed. Why teach what can be Googled (unless it is vital for background)? We must learn to expect our students to take information and create something with it.

Luvnteachin said...

It sorta changes the question of Why do I need to learn this to Why are you telling me this if I can just google it? right here on my phone nonetheless.
It really brings home the point of making sure our teaching reaches those upper tiers that that Bloom guy was talking about.

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Luvnteachin Absolutely, it is a real kick in the pants to think our best students are simply those best able to find information.

Jackie G. said...

I can't help but point to the way teachers evaluate student success. Is it the multiple choice test for a topic that really should be evaluated using a project or a means for demonstrating problem solving and transferability of a skill? Shouldn't we be evaluating skills versus regurgitating facts? Knowing facts and being able to problem solve, create, or debate are very different. My experience shows, especially for the larger, lower level college classes, that the vast majority of tests are multiple choice. In my first degree, a long while ago, many of my classes were application and performance based and assessments followed accordingly. You prepared to be able to handle everything the teacher threw your way on the test. But these lower level classes today, feed you info and then the tests are designed to test how much you remember, or find on the internet.

So to assure that our successful students are successful, we owe it to them to design tests that let them demonstrate their successes and deficiencies.

Wm Chamberlain said...

Jackie, who isn't guilty of taking the easy road? I do think that interest in the subject and the ability of the teacher both can make a huge difference, but both of those are often few and far between.

Tabitha Greenlee EDM310 said...

Hi, I am your next follower from Dr. Strange's class! This post makes me think it is not so much about the information, because it is out there for everyone to see and use. It is about the ability to use the information. I spent many years as a medic, and American Heart Association took the guess work out of how to handle situations, you can follow the information on a chart, so you do not confuse what comes next. The real ability comes from knowing what goes where, when it belongs and why. I think more and more educational opportunities should be like this. It should be a practical use of knowledge and not what is regurgitated on demand.

Amberly Elmore said...

Hi! I am from EDM 310! I have even had classes like that, where I just have to study the night before and never buy books. Some of those classes I do remember things, but some I don't. In my classroom management class, we were talking about how we need to be teachers who don't just teach but we need to teach to learn. Our students should memorize items, but not just to write on a test and then forget. Our students should take what we have taught them and go with it.

Allison Rogers said...

Can it be possible that the feature of teaching is no longer going to be hours of repetition and memorizing but more so inspiring students to go out and learn on their own and in their own way? That is something that my teacher in EDM 310 has been promoting.We should be assessing our students on the knowledge that they can actually use as opposed to what they have memorized.

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Allison It's a tough row to hoe, isn't it? The easiest thing to assess is recall while the most difficult is understanding. I think we spend too much time working toward master of daily lessons and need to be looking toward a larger picture. The way we teach now may not allow for that to take place often enough.