Education aims have progressed. The orientation of education is pivoting away from achievement orientated to learning orientated. Students must develop individually while learning, enjoy the process and ultimately become highly motivated in their studies.
How does a student attain any level of depth in a subject without effort or the use of his memory? At some stage in an academic career, to master a subject properly, facts have to be remembered. How would a teacher be able to assess whether a subject is mastered without the use of some question-and-answer mechanism?
I have not read of a practical solution to the replacement of grades. In fact, most serious courses, such as those at Khan Academy, have built in a revision mechanism. Too much emphasis on grades can affect learning quality, as explained by Alfie Kohn. However, a practical solution without sacrificing students on the altar of “progress” is needed.
While there is a need to reduce emphasis on student grades, in practical fields of engineering and medicine, a realistic method of determining mastery of a subject is essential. We must aim toward a melange of the two approaches.
Joe Schoemann has been working in education across three continents for more than 20 years. He has taught at venues including the Jerusalem College of Technology. Schoemann is a Certified Novell Instructor and speaks regularly on networking and communication. He recently developed two online resources, Memoraid and On Your Fingertips. Read more about his approach to education on his blog.