It is the same that students of any educational level can feel. Thus, much of our lives we have been training to be examined and to demonstrate that we had reached the level of competencies in the subject set beforehand. “Always exams!”: how many times have you made this statement. It is true that attempts at pedagogical renewal have been leading our education system towards more just and egalitarian ways of evaluating. At the university level where I have always moved, the European convergence that the Bologna Plan meant promoted the continuous assessment of students as the most appropriate.
A system that represents that the final grade of the students in the course is not exclusively from the grade obtained in a final exam, but it must reflect some kind of average in all the activities carried out during the course. This is the indication that is reflected in the new teaching guides for university subjects, but the reality is different. Thus, for example, the incessant bureaucratic work of the teachers of our country –subject to continuous processes of accreditation and achievement of teaching activities such as the direction of final degree projects or others– causes the extension of formulas of old assessment such as test-type exams.
Thus, in practical disciplines where it would be necessary to check the competences of the students with more interactive tests, we can observe how the evaluation formula of a part of the teaching staff focuses on the marks with a pencil in a digitized form. An expert student in the test technique can have a higher score from those who know the theory better and its practical achievement. It is true that the rest of the rating comes from different items which are added as they present work or internships within a portfolio or container of activities, but the final resolution from the digitized questionnaires breaks all spirit of an assessment that takes into account the actual progression of students for the duration of the subject.
What is the problem with our university system? The first, our system still does not adapt to the 3-year European regulations of degree plus 2 of máster. We also have very large groups of students that make it impossible to keep track of their progress. The maintenance of the exams in January and June – an anachronism inherited from the old mentality – forces a traditional system of evaluation: there are subjects that finish teaching in October and have to wait until January to have the final test. Finally, the second factor is the lack of a change in attitude towards the learning process that involves a more active role of students. A trend that should progress from primary and secondary school but does not always occur.
Herta Müller wrote, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009, that “we discover how everything is inextricably linked with everything and that everything depends on everything.” How right in a few words that we can apply to the methodology of continuous evaluation. Each action of the students in the classroom must be taken into account in the progression of their knowledge. Perhaps that is why we should resign ourselves to being observed and analyzed in our daily lives. The problem arises when those who value us do not have the condition of being our teacher nor have we asked to be evaluated. Because the freedom of each individual ends where that of others begins. I tell you very clearly: I am tired of feeling in a continuous examination for my actions and decisions. Does the same happen to you? Maybe it’s time to complain and ask for respect for each of us. Things of life.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.