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Are exams (yes) or projects (no) better for learning?

  • Exams are better.

    Exams are better than projects for learning because not only does it test the students knowledge on what they have done so far, it encourages them to do better study harder and pay attention in class. Not only that, but when a student does bad on an exam they can look over it and go study what it was they missed so they know it for the future.

  • Project Base Learning Often Supersedes Exams

    In the modern day educational systems education, especially, higher education is riddled with information overload and more often than not poor instruction. This can occur on a daily or semester basis. What this means is due to the poor instruction of information necessary to remember for exams, people will often perform poorly unless they take the extra time and stay up sleepless nights to study for said exams. Furthermore one little error on an exam can often be the death knell to a student's grade in a class. Additionally, by having exam based assessments to test a student's knowledge, it does not actually allow them to be successful in understanding important facts and ideas. Rather by testing the student they tend to learn less compared to if they were assessed through a project. Being a college student with a major in Archaeology and currently working on a GIS certification, I find that the focus on exams as a means of knowledge measurement has crippled my understanding of my field. In the classes that are project based I did very well in, but the exam based ones I did okay. My point is that involving the students in the course material through projects, presentations and the like helps them to not only understand what they are learning, but delve deeper into the material so they can gain a better appreciation for the information being presented to them.

  • PBL teaches more then tests

    While both will get a student to memorize the information, the skill that is needed is whether or not you can use and apply the information. You can get anything to memorize something, but knowledge alone will get a person no where. PBL will teach the material, and then how to seek out information, how to work the knowledge into real world examples along with working in groups for communication.

    Plus anyone can have a bad test day or just not be good at testing due to anxiety. In projects, the students get more involved and don't memorize something for a one time use.

  • Exams are tests, whereas projects focus on the gaining of knowledge not the act of remembering it all at once.

    Exams are based on testing students and finding out their knowledge and getting a general overview of whatever subject the student is focusing on, but projects involve the students going to school and researching the topic, summarising it and presenting ti somehow and they gain much more knowledge from projects than doing an exam.

  • Project Base Learning Often Supersedes Exams

    In the modern day educational systems education, especially, higher education is riddled with information overload and more often than not poor instruction. This can occur on a daily or semester basis. What this means is due to the poor instruction of information necessary to remember for exams, people will often perform poorly unless they take the extra time and stay up sleepless nights to study for said exams. Furthermore one little error on an exam can often be the death knell to a student's grade in a class. Additionally, by having exam based assessments to test a student's knowledge, it does not actually allow them to be successful in understanding important facts and ideas. Rather by testing the student they tend to learn less compared to if they were assessed through a project. Being a college student with a major in Archaeology and currently working on a GIS certification, I find that the focus on exams as a means of knowledge measurement has crippled my understanding of my field. In the classes that are project based I did very well in, but the exam based ones I did okay. My point is that involving the students in the course material through projects, presentations and the like helps them to not only understand what they are learning, but delve deeper into the material so they can gain a better appreciation for the information being presented to them.


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