The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Home Exam: from Reading List Reproduction to Student Centred Production

Patrick Murphy, Nord University (Norway)


This study addresses challenges of form and format of student assessment in teacher training. The point of departure is teacher training in Norway and the subject of English. Teacher training programs in general, and certain subjects in particular, see the challenge of providing exam formats that adequately reflect the practice of the future profession of the candidates. In addition, one in teacher training may well seek to teach the students about how to cater for and assess the value of the individual and their varied areas of strengths, traditional college and university teacher training programs may not always be exemplary role models in this matter. This study takes a look at how the unplanned and unprepared for challenges of the Covid19 pandemic and a general trend of digitalization of higher education have fast-forwarded the need to rethink how, and in what format, exams in a professional program are carried out. This study provides a concrete example of how the needs of the future teachers are catered for in a home exam format, and how – in contrast to the traditional school exam – the individuality of the student and learner has centre stage; using a traditional taxonomy of learning revised by Anderson et al (2001) [1] as a yard stick. There is also deep-learning involved in the suggested exam format, a opposed to traditional school exams which may require a mere reproduction of crammed-for knowledge. This paper presents the pedagogical and methodological ideas behind a five-day home exam where the students create their own tableau as a take-off point for the multi modal exam product. Students are prompted to use all sources and media, including consulting each other during the exam, to emulate the work and function for which the students are trained; thus triggering the student’s ownership to both process and product, rather than becoming a mere reproducer of reading list-based knowledge. Though under critique from some, the principle ideas of and behind Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983) [2] are central in triggering and fostering a variety of student learning styles applicable to the sample exam format. The data presented in this article is collected by implementations/execution of action research projects in two third year courses and one first-year course in a five-year teacher training master program at Nord University, Norway.

Keywords Teacher training, home exam, in-depth learning, multiple intelligences, student centred

[1] Anderson, L., Krathwohl, D., Airasian, P., Cruickshank, K., Mayer, R., Pintrich, P., Raths, J., Wittrock, M. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Longman.
[2] Gardner, Howard. (1983) Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books, 1983


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