In No Textbooks, No Lectures, and No Right Answers. Is This What Higher Education Needs? by Beth McMurtrie, she covers many topics from standardized testing, using your major in your career, and the way teachers teach. For a long time, lesson plans were about the information and not about the vehicles or the way the lessons were communicated to the students. Students learn in many different styles based on their background, the way they understand, and their learning abilities or impairments, because of this, one type or teaching or test can not accurately represent someones intelligence.
“In the age of standardized tests, where there’s always “a checklist to get an A, some students can’t handle that.”–Beth McMurtrie
When I was in school standardized testing was the only type of testing that decided what level classes we got into, what our GPA was, and what school we were going to when we graduated. The problem with this is that not all answers are black and white. I always had questions about the questions and felt there was more then one direction or answer, and there was never the opportunity for me to draw it out of explain it verbally. For many students, standardized testing is a dreaded stressful situation; take the SATs for example, timed, silences for hours, you can not leave the room, and your entire future depends on it. How can this be the only way we judge students’ ability to retain knowledge?
Students have different strengths and weaknesses, they learn in different ways and they express the knowledge in different ways. The main three being auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, these mean the way we process information best is either by being told verbally, or being shown through diagram or infographic, and then some learn best by doing with an experiment or activity.
In my time in higher education, I have had the pleasure of learning from professors who understand all the ways students learn best. Many teachers start classes by asking how they can be most effective to the student. What is their learning style? Do they prefer working in teams or individually? Do they want assignments online or on paper? How do they want constructive criticism? Online texts, video explanations, or physical textbooks? These are great questions to ask a student so they can get the most out of their education.