I was talking to a college student I know who is currently taking linear algebra. He told me that during his take home midterm/final exams he was assigned essay questions, which surprised me quite a bit
I believe the one on the midterm had the prompt
Write a two page essay about the Jordan normal form
Is this common practice? It seems to me that it's testing a lot of skills which are not really related to what most linear algebra classes set out to teach. Does anyone know of any references which argue for this as a good examination method?