I enjoyed listening future education expert Sugata Mitra on TV3 this morning. He pointed out that our schooling examination system is based on something 200 years old, and suggested we should allow students to use the internet in their exam process. I wanted to make a few comments, because I think he made some important points, and this goes to modern education and assessment in general.
As an education, training and development professional for more than 25 years, I’ve noticed that modern social and technological changes have shifted younger generations needs in business and life, but the education system’s examination processes have not kept up.
My viewpoint is this: because the internet makes so much info instantly available, we have shifted from a WHAT-based learning requirement to a HOW-based and adaptation style learning requirement. Yes, people need to internally know and understand a certain amount of theory and data. However, when most of the WHAT is on your device, the higher need is HOW to use/apply the info, so it becomes useful knowledge that drives what we do, how we adapt and results we get.
Therefore, to examine students at school or uni, mostly about data regurgitation and calculations (which they can do on their device), is not as useful in life and work as evaluating their integration of application skills – using the learning and theories, ways of thinking and adapting, relating to the people and the applications – to generate results, new ideas, forward moves in their projects, etc.
In short, this is now a HOW-based world (and even WHAT-IF? future thought variance). Therefore, much more evaluation/assessment of learners ought to be based on people’s abilities to use, adapt and integrate knowledge – not whether they can regurgitate data.
Keen to hear others opinions on the future shift of assessment to today’s’ world … whether you agree with my perspective or wish to offer a different one … its all learning …
Have a great day
for Personal and Professional Development