Bartosz about Chapel
bcs at example.com
Sat Nov 12 09:15:09 PST 2011
On 11/11/2011 10:47 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
> On 11/11/2011 4:37 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> In my school experience (both high school and college), the students who
>> were well versed in and heavily focused on rote regurgitation were
>> consistently the ones with the best grades, and the ones who where
>> considered to be "smart" even though they couldn't have reasoned to save
>> their lives. That *needs* to change.
> That was true of my high school, but not my college (Caltech). At
> Caltech, rote memorization would get you precisely nowhere. Exams were
> (by institute policy) open book and open note. This did have the
> interesting effect of forcing the profs to come up with exams that could
> not be completed by rote.
> I came to attend Caltech mostly by accident, and it was a most fortunate
> accident. The attitude and culture of Caltech suited my personality
> almost perfectly.
> (For another example, professors were not allowed to take attendance at
> lectures, not allowed to make attendance part of the grade, not allowed
> to proctor exams (100% honor system), etc. I loved being treated like an
> adult for the first time.)
> One might ask, isn't it easy to cheat under such a system? Yes, it is.
> But such a system had an unexpected effect. The students did not regard
> themselves as the adversaries of the professors. The students liked the
> honor system so much that if someone did cheat, they'd get ostracized.
> Ostracism is a powerful and very effective means of getting conformance.
> Almost nobody cheated (to my knowledge).
The/a solution to the cheating problem at anything but the last set of
classes is to make the next set of classes *painful* to take if you
don't know the materiel from the prerequisite. The point of the class
after all is to teach you the materiel (whatever that amounts to) and if
you've got the materiel how you got there is irrelevant. That all
depends however on a carefully tuned definition of "got the materiel".
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