Academic lifestyle: online exams, part0

Self-tutoring about fine points of academic life: the tutor mentions online exams.

A true academic, in my opinion, is someone who loves learning and loves taking courses. I’m one of those: I love elegant concepts, surprising truths, and discovering how to engineer a solution from first principles to “where the rubber meets the road.”

To a true academic, the exam is an anticipated pleasure — three or four hours of peace and quiet during which one can respond to questions probing one’s newfound knowledge. It’s a theatre for creativity and self-expression.

In my recent university courses (since 2019), I started out writing paper-based exams. As I recall, my last one was back in very early March 2020, literally a week or so before COVID restrictions took hold. After that, paper, in-person exams were no longer available. However, a new venue was instead: the ‘live’ online exam. This new format involves typing the exam into your computer while you’re being monitored by said computer’s camera.

Having liked the old, paper-based system, including my little rituals and familiarity with the exam rooms, I was skeptical about the online format. It turns out, however, to be even better, depending on your tastes.

I write the online exam in my house; I had to travel about 45 minutes away to take the paper based ones. The results typically return sooner as well relative to what I might foresee from the paper format. The computer requirements, which I worried about at first, with my history of using old clunkers, seem easy enough to meet.

It’s much easier to type than to write with pencil or pen, so of course the online format is easier assuming the exam content is the same.

I’ve been won over to online exams. That doesn’t say I won’t happily return to my old ways of writing paper exams, should the need arise:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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