Dirty Rotten Cheaters in the News, Fall 2008: Hows the Southern Hemisphere Doing?

Dirty Rotten Cheaters in the News, Fall 2008: Hows the Southern Hemisphere Doing?

Ritratto di jeffrey-gallagher (Intel)

A new kind of test cramming?

When I was in school, cramming for an exam was something students did in order to prepare for tests at the last minute: staying up all night to study (all nighters); or otherwise trying to memorize weeks worth of material in a very condensed -- and usually quite unreasonable -- amount of time.

Australias Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority has modernized the idea of cramming, and with a twist. To fight forms of internet cheating, Victoria high school students in Australia will now be required to take three grueling year 12 exams in a single day, which, allowing for short breaks will bring total exam time for the day to about six hours and 35minutes. You might call this "cramming" inthree tests.

Before, students were required to only sit two exams per day, and if they required to sit three, could offset the third to a different day. No longer: three a day is the norm now.

Students and others are concerned about fatigue and stress. Some of the required tests overlap.

A spokesperson for the school district said 188 students will be affected, and, they are being scheduled an additional 20 minutes for their last exam. Full story here:

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24177532-2862,00.html

Same country, different approach

Year 9 students at Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney, Australia, are being permitted to use the internet and iPods during an English exam. They were further permitted to phone a friend for help as part of a series of 40-minute tasks.

Perhaps using the whole world as a kind of open-book source, students are expected to use reputable sources to obtain extra information, and of course, to cite their sources. (Plagiarism is not permitted.)

Teachers organizing this new approach feel that use of technology emulates the real world of business, and does not help students who lack the fundamental knowledge being tested. The tests may soon allow computers as well. Look here for the whole very interesting story:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/phone-a-friend--welcome-to-the-new-face-of-exams-20080824-415m.html

Buying better grades

Two high school teachers in Viet Nam were fired this year for taking money from students, who were paying for test answers. The Ministry of Education there feels the problem of teachers accepting bribes in exchange for test help is rampant and requires a massive investigation.

Most students who were interviewed during exams said it was almost expected that they would pay to obtain better test scores.

The bribes may have something to do with current teacher salaries in the country, which are currently low. Check it out:

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008081421205/National-news/Exam-cheats-force-review-of-teachers.html

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