How Not to Organize Written Exams

The traditional and efficient way for setting up and grading written exams is to have a professorship create the exam, supervise the actual exam, and then also have them grade it. They will usually use a team in the supervision of the exam and the grading, where work is split by exam question: One person (or a team in the case of a large exam) gets to grade one question across all exams. This ensures fairness, consistency, and speed.

Enter the Bavarian Ministry of Education. It invented a wholly different approach to creating and grading written exams. Here, it applies to students aiming to become informatics high school teachers.

Continue reading “How Not to Organize Written Exams”

The Downside of College Teaching

“Teaching young minds is great and keeps you young!”

There is some truth to this made-up quote. Growing older, you might get set in your ways, but younger people will most certainly challenge you to rethink those. While there is a lot of positive things to say, I want to discuss two difficult but critical issues that a new college teacher needs to be aware of, in particular if they are coming in from industry.

Continue reading “The Downside of College Teaching”

What is Meant by “Teaching Fundamentals”?

In my previous post I noted how students and professors are often talking past each other, where some the former want to learn immediately applicable knowledge and the latter want to teach long-lasting fundamentals. I also noted that there is no contradiction here, which begs the question what professors mean when the say they want to teach fundamentals? Students may hear “irrelevant stuff nobody cares about” but that’s obviously not it. So let me explain.

Continue reading “What is Meant by “Teaching Fundamentals”?”