Taking testing outside of the classroom

Moving exams to dedicated testing centers would open up class time for more in-depth discussion of course material.

Moving exams to dedicated testing centers would open up class time for more in-depth discussion of course material.

Midterms and finals. The mere mention of these terms drives fear straight into the hearts of college students everywhere. For decades, the last weeks of a college semester have been filled with frantic, sleep-deprived students living on caffeine and trying to absorb three months’ of learning in just a few days. But what if there was a way to eliminate these dreaded exams and increase learning in the process?

Campus Technology recently interviewed Angela Linse, the executive director and associate dean at the university’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Angela said that testing centers could eliminate the need for infrequent major exams by allowing professors to administer tests more frequently outside of class.

The pros and cons of testing centers
Exams outside the classroom? No this doesn’t mean exams in a coffee shop (though how cool would that be?). The exams would be taken in dedicated testing centers. It’s definitely an interesting idea.

More class time would benefit both students and professors. Students could use it to discuss material. Professors could create better tests to measure comprehension levels. If that holds true, university administrators should certainly consider making the move. However, the time may not be right for a widespread roll out. The plan is great in theory, but seeing it in practice is a whole other story.

Pros:
– Frees up class time for student discussion
– Allows for a variety of testing approaches
– Frequent testing and material reinforcement

Cons:
– Cost and time of developing innovative testing software
– Need to protect confidentiality of students’ grades and educational records
– Limited space of testing centers prohibitive for larger universities
– Scheduling conflicts

Can testing centers replace in-class midterms and finals? Would you be open to moving tests out of the classroom? Tell us what you think in the comment section below, or contact us directly on our Facebook page!

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.