Grading Exams

This semester I was TA of the “Analysis and Design of Information Systems” course taught at the Technion‘s Industrial Engineering faculty. As I write these lines there is a pile of exams right beside me waiting to be checked (and another pile already checked to my left. 70 exams overall).

Oh! How I hate to check exams! There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. I am giving another person a grade. This is a very difficult thing to do, regardless of whether the grade can be calculated automatically or not.
  2. If the student answered wrongly, is it his fault or mine? I am the one supposed to teach him, so if he didn’t learn, its my fault.

The whole exam thing just bothers me. So if a student passes the exam, what does that prove? only that he passed the exam. And if he fails… will re-taking the course help him in some way? We’re not talking math here, where if you can’t solve equations or multiply matrices you can’t continue with more advanced courses. There is no exact way to do analysis and design of information systems (otherwise the software industry would be in a very different place that it is now). It is a VERY soft science.

How well. Enough complaining. Let’s go back and finish at least checking one question.

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