Q11: On open book exams (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)

Q11: On open book exams (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)


On open book exams, why do you need closed book exams nowadays with Google? Well, I think that there are some things that you do need to learn from scratch. If a patient comes to see you, and you see him with red marks all over and you say “I do not know what this is, I must take a picture of you and show it to Google image search”, it is not just your patient who will lose confidence in you, so will everybody else. If you are a lawyer, you also cannot look up all the cases in the books, because there are certain things that you do need to know – landmark cases, key principles – if you haven’t hoisted it in, and digested it and be able to explain and interpret it, and not just to look it up – you are in trouble. So it doesn’t mean that you do all the exams closed book – you can have a combination of open book and closed book – I leave that to your professors to decide how they want to do it, but I think that open book exams are harder than closed book exams. So we have to find the most effective way of evaluating our people and evaluating students. And not just evaluating them, but really practicing them in the skills and techniques which they will need when they go on to work.

Danny Hutson

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