Learning in Physics Courses Is More Than Just Plugging Things In
– Jordan Morelli, Physics & Astronomy, Queen’s University
Students learn best when they have to do something or come up with a solution of their own rather than just plugging things in. In fact in recent years my final exams have all been open book, and I give three or four quizzes during the term, which are all open book. I don’t believe rote memorization gets at the skills serving a modern engineer.
How does learning happen? Assessments and learning are not always the same thing, and giving a three-hour closed-book exam is a crude way to determine how much learning is happening. I can’t even be sure the person writing the exam is the person they’re supposed to be. So I think we have to move away from those sorts of assessment and start making the experience of the rest of the term more valuable.