May 23, 2008

How stupid can students and examiners be assumed to be?

We are all individuals...Exam papers had answers on back - in a music GCSE exam where the students were to identify the composers of different pieces of music the copyright information on the back clearly identified the pieces.

But the real sidesplitter is this comment from the exam board:

"It is unlikely that any of the 12,000 students sitting the examination would have recognised the value of the information in the copyright statement and subsequently used it."

This is amazing, given that it was students who pointed out the problem in the first place.

Of course, the usual suspects immediately claim that this shows that private examination boards cannot be trusted. But given that the same type of people would likely be employed by a central government examination board, it just seems that it would scale up the occasional disasters to encompass all students and not just a subset. As the MTAS fiasco amply demonstrated, this is not just hypothetical, it is a very serious risk. Just like in computer security avoiding a monoculture of systems at least prevents disasters from being 100%.

Posted by Anders3 at May 23, 2008 11:12 AM