Quiz! Open Notes and Books

                                                                 By Vic Odarve

But just imagine open books and notes! Students are smiling from ear to ear. But do students really get perfect scores? At first, students think they can get it handily, but these are not always the case. At the end only a few get a perfect score. Why? Teachers know best to what extent the degree of difficulty the quiz should be that only a few can get away with perfect score. Teachers know what easy, moderate, and difficult problems are. Mathematics is not a memory course, but largely understanding of the principles and formulas. It is more on understanding of when, how, and why we use the formulas and its applications in the solution. That’s why it works on open notes and textbooks – a method of a student’s assessment. This is the real world for engineering students.

Quiz, Engineering Math, open books and notes

Quiz, Engineering Math, open books and notes

In the end, both teachers and students are challenged and thrilled. If many get perfect score the teachers seem defeated, but if only few, students win the battle. It’s like war, and a war of strategy, a war of nerves… and it’s enjoyable!

What about if in this war the teacher is defeated? He can have his next round. The teacher is the one who controls the war game. It is just like Mr. Putin’s strategy on how to defeat the hapless Ukraine

Madonna university, Elele Campus

Madonna university, Elele Campus

and annex Crimea. It is just like “to give difficult problems or not to give”- that is the question. So at the end, the teachers must have their heads high and always come out the winner.

Generally, quiz or assessment with open books and notes is more difficult than traditional closed exams. On this type of quiz, one or two of the given problems draws higher order thinking. More often students may not find the answers directly. Lecturers may offer open books and notes as an accommodation to help and challenge students to study their lessons.

Experience teaches us that only those students who have recognized masterfully the math concepts, formulas or procedures in a different order and at various levels of difficulty than they are presented in their textbook or in class; proof read the solutions before going out the exam room get away with perfect scores. When lecturers give a quiz in mathematics, one of the problems must be difficult or required extra/ deeper analysis, at least. So who wants to get a perfect score? Only those students who study an extra mile from the classroom discussion can get the perfect score.

These very few students who get away with perfect scores out from difficult mathematical problems of the highest order are a gem to the teacher. They are like our moon, which was born from a planet sized object which rammed the earth 4.5 billion of years ago provides romantic lights at nighttime. These students, like our moon, give delight and color to our classroom atmosphere. Imagine? They get perfect scores. They are showing their level of excellence. This is our real world, student’s university life, and a reality. We are talking of a real environment and not wormholes, which arise from our imagination.

So who wants open notes and book examination? It may happen once in your student’s life… once in a blue moon. Try and enjoy your university life!

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