Friday, October 12, 2012

Open Book Exams

I am surprised that schools are still conducting examinations the old usual way.

As explained here, life is not about memory capacity anymore. It is about sieving memory. Finding the needle in the haystack is not a good enough analogy, as the smart guy will just deploy a metal detector.

I suppose a tougher challenge is not merely opened books, but how to allow the use of the world-wide web in examinations without the ability to contact another live human being. Even intelligent databases or systems that allow asking interactive questions should be permitted.

Perhaps here is an opportunity for Google - how to duplicate a section of the www such that everything in the world's knowledge repository can still be fully accessed but short of human assistance and contact. Besides schools, the military and prison authorities would be interested.

We all know that we are quite helpless during the few moments we are without Internet access. But we don't want to be too dependent on it. Imaging surviving an air crash in good shape but only to die because in the jungle you can't Google for Newton's laws or on methods to make fire or collect water.

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