[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[JDM] More discussion of exam structure.

The following was mailed to me personally, but I don't know if it was
intended for the list or just for me.  So I am quoting it with taking out
some information.

On Thu, 22 Jun 2000 XXX.Ftmba99-00@Cranfield.ac.uk wrote:

> I would just like to back up what Mark said. My main emphasis at being in
> Cranfield is on learning, not on showing the teacher what I have learnt. I
> much prefer doing assessments that I learn from rather than doing exams.

My feeling is that you would not have learned as much with some sort of
written project then with an exam, although I suppose I could have made
the written assessment very much like the exam.  But it is very hard to
find a single case that would require an understanding of more than one or
two of the concepts covered in class.

But because you knew that there would be an exam, then in your studying
and revising covered many concepts.  And I can see from the results so far
(which really are very good) that the class understood things from search
for confirmatory information to prospect theory to regression to the mean
to the expectation of small samples being representative of the whole, to
the multiple fairness criteria, etc.

Ideally, I would love to do without exams at all.  In a perfect world,
people would be motivated by their personal desire and need to learn, and
would participate fully in a class.  But we don't live in that perfect
world for most students and most topics.  I picked the exam structure to
encourage learning because I think that knowing that there will be an exam
that gives my the ability to evaluate how much you learned would actually
get you to learn more.  Even though topic like discounting the future
neither social dilemmas were not on the exam, I am confident from how well
you did on the areas that were on the exam that you learned those as well.  
But if you had some project that by some miracle covered all of the things
that were actually on the exam, then I would suspect that you didn't study
the other material as well.

I also want to clear up that by grading and evaluting I am not saying that
I am smarter than you are.  I have come to believe that most good MBA
students are smarter than their teachers, but I do know more about JDM
than you do.  This makes it so that I can still teach you things and
evaluate whether you learned it.

> I understand that you need to mark things, but the way that Cranfield
> runs things, grades are pretty irrelevant, hence a good learning
> experience rather than an accurate assessment of my capabilities is
> more important.  I realise that things will probably be different in
> your new post, so maybe this is a mute point!

I have above explained why I think that an exam helped better learning,
but unfortunately it was more stressful.  My course was different from
what is typical at Cranfield, but that is true in many ways, not just the
exam (e.g., not case-based, more lecture, reading of pyschology text books
and even academic papers, one person doing all of the teaching.

But the topic is unusual.  If I had gave you cases to discuss, it would
have taken a very long time for the class to discover prospect theory.  I
could have happened, but it would have been slower and less would have
been covered and learned in the 10 sessions then it was this way.

From the very begining I tried to make it clear that this course would be
different.  This is not because I think that typical way of teaching MBA
course is wrong, but because I think that that would be wrong for a JDM
course.  There are many skills that you learn in the typical course
structure which you don't in my course structure.  But you have plenty of
typical courses in which to learn those, so it shouldn't be a problem if
one or two courses have a different structure from the norm.


Livia Markoczy                              | Cranfield School of Management
L.Markoczy@Cranfield.ac.uk                  | +44 (0)1234 751 122 (x3757)
http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/public/mn/mn795/ | FAX: +44 (0)1234 750070