Exams enhance learning

Studying for exams deepens learning.

  • Searching through one's memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens the memory pathway.
  • Learning is particularly strong when students self-test rather than passively learning by rote.

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Problem Solving

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Good assessment programs use a range of strategies and tasks, in varying contexts, to understand what students know and can do.

Tasks must also be “fit for purpose”. A task assessing base knowledge will look different from one assessing creativity.

In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn.

Exams enable assessors to test the students’ breadth of understanding of topics.

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The first time we aim for a goal, follow a rule or make a decision, we are engaging in single loop learning. 
If we question our approaches and make honest self-assessments, we shift into double loop learning.  Here we assess our biases, question our mental models, and look for areas where we can improve. 

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IDEAS

Most people can find an activity that they enjoy. It could be walking the dog, doing pilates, or playing in the garden.

Find the activity you like and get value from and do that.

Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.

  • Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.

  • Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.

  • Hand-written notes are well-thought-out, summarized and have a lot of graphic information that is missing from laptop notes.

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