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I'm starting my job as a mathematics teacher in an intermediate school.

I want to follow some new way of assessment and I'm really curious about take-home exams; are they suitable for any subjects? if not, for which subjects are they suitable?, for which grade levels?, what kind of questions does they include?

I read a lot but can't find accurate answers for my questions, hope I'll find them here.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm teaching mathematics for grade eight, and wanna know more about take-home exams in general @Buffy $\endgroup$ – Nour Nov 24 '18 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ I personally feel like it is a bad idea at all levels because they take more time, become projects versus assessments, and allow cheating (subtle and direct). For grade 8, the arguments are only stronger. $\endgroup$ – guest Nov 25 '18 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ The most important use of class time is "drill" (NOT lecture). And graded tests are one of the most powerful forms of "drill". Like scrimmaging. $\endgroup$ – guest Nov 25 '18 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ if we exam online universities then you might notice many of these have implicitly takehome exams. The exams are openbook and often without proctoring. For reasons I fail to understand, this is not objected to by governing bodies such as accreditors or the government. Moreover, these takehome exams are not more difficult than residential exams. Go figure. Sure, some well-meaning folks want to test creativty and/or redece anxiety. I wonder, is that the real motivation for profit driven "schools" which offer credentials more than an education. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Nov 25 '18 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ @guest The most important use of class time is teacher-student interaction. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher pulls out a prior HW or test, finds errors (usually common for the subject area or for a particular student), calls out a student to blackboard to solve the exercise. If the student makes the same mistake, others help. If no one can help, the teacher explains the error (and gives similar HW or test again to ensure that everyone got it). Same with new material: call someone to the blackboard and explain new stuff on the go. This is the next best thing to a private tutor. $\endgroup$ – Rusty Core Dec 6 '18 at 20:08
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This depends on how you teach. If you stress creativity rather than memorization and regurgitation then you should be fine with take home. Of course it can be difficult to come up with problems that require creativity and whose solutions can't just found on the internet.

Just don't put forth rules that can't be enforced and are likely to be ignored. Assume (and make it ok) that students will use all available resources including the internet. Hence the need for creativity. Don't grade on right-wrong but on the basis of intelligent query and response. It may be hard, but possible. Note that even making collaboration improper may be difficult to enforce.

Use peer evaluation.

If you have to assume that students will collaborate no matter what you say, then make it possible to produce joint work. They are a bit young for this, of course, but peer evaluation stresses the positive contributions of the partner, not the "quality". "What was your partner's main contribution." No young person is likely to "rat out" their partner and you don't really want to encourage it. But asking for positive statements avoids this problem. Students doing peer evaluation can/should also do self evaluation: "What was your own chief contribution?"

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