Earlier last week I took an exam which does not meet my expectations of an exam. The exam went far beyond the material covered in class while also having a wild variety of questions ranging from infantile to impossible. We also had a trick question in the exam. really? Was that necessary?
I felt very betrayed mostly because one of the beliefs I held as a student was completely shattered in that moment.
I used to believe the professor was on my side.
However, the professor is not looking out for my learning like I would want him too. In educational psychology I learned that if you wanted students to achieve, you needed to be transparent with your teaching. That is: teach what you want them to learn and then test them on what you taught. Don’t test them on extrapolating to broader contexts. Doing this will not grade their abilities on the subject, but rather on their abilities as a critical thinker. Which is fine. If you want them to critically think- then train them to do so. But, for example (Oh, imaginary teacher for whom I’ll never have the guts to tell this to in real life) do not give students computational problems all year long and also expect them to take abstract derivatives on the exam. Students will not be able to do it with the training you gave them.
Anyways, I have mostly recovered from this incident, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. I’m glad I’m almost done with the timed exam taking part of my life. I’ll be glad to have that behind me.