Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Ontario is trying to hold its universities accountable for what their students learn, and some professors don't like it.

I tend to think that exit exams are a great idea actually. They would focus the students and give them some goal to work for aside from graduation. And, of course, they would also focus professors and universities.

I understand why profs are worried. Universities end up with a good number of students who see higher ed as being largely perfunctory. They sort of float through for four years and try to avoid all work. I think profs are irked about being held accountable for the academic progress of people who, ideally, should be accountable for their own progress.

But, I think that a big part of the students' problem is the sort of amorphous blob of course offerings and four-year booze cruise that most universities call an "education". It's hard not to get jaded. And the profs are often as jaded as the students. It's sort of easy to see why they're unmotivated.

So, I say, bring on the exams! They'll focus the students on an achievable goal and make them feel that they're not jumping through hoops for a meaningless piece of paper. A degree could be a sign of accomplishment, and not a bill of sale. Imagine that.

No comments: