Practice exams on the web

Ross Koning Koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Mon Aug 14 11:25:43 EST 1995

My opinion:
I agree that there is nothing like direct interaction between
humans, but sometimes alternative approaches work for some
students who, for whatever reason, have difficulty approaching
the faculty member.  There is a place for internet instruction
just as there is a place for a textbook.  If student's learn at
that first level, memorization, and no further, then I would
hope that the design of the upper level course exam would provide
a diagnosis of that problem.  At a huge university and in an
introductory course, memorization of factoids might be enough to
get you "by" but I would hope that as the class size falls the
instructor is able to provide more challenging exam questions
to separate factoid memorizers from developing scientists.  This
should be especially true in Junior- and Senior-level courses.  I
hope we get to real science, rather than the findings of science
(factoids), by that level.  If not, then the AAUP and dean need
to get down to some brass tacks on class size issues.  We need
scientists, not recorders, as our graduates.  I am working on some
WWW pages for instructional use too...more tutorial than exam.


At 12:51 PM 8/8/95 -0700, Jon Monroe wrote:
>Hi plant-eders:
>Regarding Larry Nooden's recent message about his practice exams on the web, I
>have looked at them and think that they can be very useful (nice graphics).
>However, Larry and I talked at the recent Plant Physiology meetings about the
>potential for prospective students to study these exams and essentially
>memorize factoids rather than really learning the material.  They might then
>have an unfair advantage (or disadvantage if they get the idea they can succeed
>by memorizing) when they enroll in his classes.  Am I being too pessimistic?
>I have to admit that some of my skepticism about the web (I am still an avid
>user...) has come from reading "Silicon Snake Oil" in which the author
>(Clifford Stoll) argues, among other things, that the internet is a very poor
>substitute for a real teacher.  I would like to hear other comments on this
>Thanks,  Jon
>  Jonathan Monroe (Jon)         voice:  540-568-6649 (office)
>  Department of Biology                 540-568-6045 (lab)
>  James Madison University      fax:    540-568-3333
>  Harrisonburg, VA 22807        e-mail: monroejd at
>            www:

Ross Koning
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Koning at            \  _H_  /
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