Taking open-book tests a step further, a girls school in Sydney, Australia is letting students phone a friend, surf the net or use information stored on i-Pods during exams. Students must cite the sources of information they use on the exam.
“In terms of preparing them for the world, we need to redefine our attitudes towards traditional ideas of ‘cheating’,” (English teacher Dierdre) Coleman said. “Unless the students have a conceptual understanding of the topic or what they are working on, they can’t access bits and pieces of information to support them in a task effectively.
“In their working lives they will never need to carry enormous amounts of information around in their heads. What they will need to do is access information from all their sources quickly and they will need to check the reliability of their information.”
The “phone a friend” angle is the only thing that distinguishes this from open-book tests. Perhaps, students will be encouraged to make well-informed friends.