Let Students Work Together on Tests? Here’s Why you Should.

51SKa3z6CgL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve recently been reading the book Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica.  While I don’t typically enjoy reading books about education and its foibles and failures, and what each person decides should be done about it, this book has got me thinking about how we approach education.

One of the points we touched on yesterday was how learning is often so compartmentalized, and one area of this is traditional testing.  I was at a conference recently in Texas, at which Jamie Casap spoke (Chief Education Evangelist for Google).  He said, imagine if I were to go to work, and my task was to create a procedure manual [or any other project].  Now, I go and I create it all by myself, I do not ask for anyone to review this document or to share their thoughts on its creation, and after a week or so of crafting this beautiful project, I submit it to my boss.  He would ask me–who did you ask to help you on this?  Who collaborated with you?  He assumes that value is added by those who are contributing to a given project.  What would he (or she) say when I reply that I did it all myself?  And yet, that’s what we ask students to do.  Working at my current position in higher education, we are dealing with lockdown browsers and other attempts to eliminate cheating on testing in e-learning.   But I think that defeats the purpose of what learning should look like.  Because that’s not how things work in the real world.  Shouldn’t learning simulate as closely as possible the challenges and tasks we will face in our future jobs and lives?

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