Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Forum - university cheating, book titles

Hat tip to Legal Eagle for the first part of this Monday Forum.  I quote from the Sydney Morning Herald:

On Monday, the NSW government's Legal Profession Admissions Board advised students that it would be instituting a new closed-book exam policy and would be banning the publication of past exam papers and the use of wristwatches. Law exams have traditionally been open book, with students required to adapt large swathes of information to questions.

At the same time and from the same article, and again I quote:
Professor Alexander said UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) had moved more in the direction of open-book exams in order to minimise cheating by asking students to come up with creative rather than rote-learned answers.

"We are trying to prepare people to enter the real world of work," she said. "The assessments are much harder to design but people can't pass just by copying. It is much harder to cheat in that way." 
Mmmm. Open book, closed book, both to minimize cheating? You see the significance of the Dilbert cartoon?

I wondered what you thought of student cheating. Why has it become more prevalent, if indeed it has? What should we do about it?

The second very different topic this Monday Forum is book titles. Some people are very good at book titles, so good that the title enters common parlance. Examples include For whom the bell tolls ans the tyranny of distance. What or you favourite (or least liked) book titles?

As always, roam where you like.


2 tanners said...

The figures on cheating by definition miss the successful cheats. Who can say if it is more prevalent?

I saw one opinion that exams were artificial constructs whereas the real world operated in teams of people and that assessment structures that reflected this were perhaps better markers of future performance.

Just a thought

2 tanners said...

Not sure why you picked "For whom the bell tolls" when that is a rather evocative quote from Donne. Some that have entered into common parlance are Catch 22 (generally misused these days), War and Peace (generally to mean fat fiction or a long, arduous task) and Romeo and Juliet.

Contenders might include Lolita, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (just the rise and fall part, but you know we are talking empires, not sandcastles), The Odyssey (without the poem/book, I don't think the term would have survived) and Top Gun.

Sue said...

When I first read the title "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" it sounded so horribly twee that I almost didn't read it, despite glowing reviews. Thankfully I did read it and it is in my top 10 books of all time. And the title makes perfect sense when you read the book.

I still like Alexander McCall Smith's titles. Two random examples: "Tea Time for the Traditionally Built" and "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon". "Traditionally Built" has become an all-time favourite description.

I also like titles that give you a clue not only to their contents but also to their style: "Bring on the empty horses" David Niven; "My life and easy times" Patrick Campbell; "A fortunate life" A B Facey; "Why be happy when you could be normal?" Jeanette Winterson.

And then there is "Love in a cold climate" and "In pursuit of love" by Nancy Mitford and "Vile bodies" Evelyn Waugh and "The world of Psmith" by P G Wodehouse, where the P is silent as in psychic ...

Anonymous said...

Sue, I also have the 'Potato Peel Pie' book by my bedside; it is a wonderful read - several reads, in fact. Just wondered if you had read "Mr Rosenblum's List" by Natasha Solomons?


Anonymous said...

And a grateful nod to another occasional commenter here for the engrossing "Rats, Lice and History" - Hans Zinsser. An engrossing read, never mind the off-putting title.