A different way of evaluating studies: changing the traditional theoretical exam
The competency based approach has helped our teaching practices evolve significantly. With openness and creativity, we have succeeded in varying our educational methods, reduce the number of lectures, make students more active and ensure they are making use of their acquired knowledge. There are various ways to make our courses stimulating and enable students to acquire meaningful learning. Among these: appropriation exercises, tables to complete, diagrams to elaborate, problems to solve, game questionnaires, illustrations, placement in situation, quotations, summaries, comic strips, puzzles, research, reading material, contests, oral presentations, questions, software, debates, reflection, crosswords, newspapers and exchanges, to name a few. By helping our students acquire new knowledge, better organize and structure their learning, treat information effectively, contextualize it relevantly and put their acquired competencies to good use, we embrace a modern vision of education. All in all, we are achieving the integration of learning via different strategies. Up to this point, everything is just fine … However, when it comes to evaluating this theoretical learning, we sometimes come up short. In 2005, we are still resorting to traditional theoretical exams to confirm acquired knowledge. If I am teaching differently, perhaps I should also be evaluating differently. Now that we are aware that our teaching and evaluation practices must be very closely linked, how can we go back to our old evaluation practices by resorting to the traditional theoretical exam? In a renewed educational vision, is there a different formula that would allow the learners to appropriate theoretical concepts, while being supported by a different evaluation process? Given my dissatisfaction with traditional evaluation methods which I nevertheless tended to perpetuate in certain theoretical courses, I developed a totally different learning and evaluation activity that I called: the study file. The study file was tested on a few occasions in the Anatomy courses in Techniques of physical rehabilitation. These courses have a theoretical part and a laboratory component…
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