How to Prevent Efficient Creation and Grading of Written Exams

Want to know how to make it hard for professors to create and grade written exams efficiently? Learn from the best, the Bavarian ministry of education, which oversees the handling of the state-wide written exams for budding high-school teachers of computer science. A thread.

  1. Ask professors to create exams and then engage in a back and forth on why you (the ministry official) think the professor doesn’t know what they are doing.
  2. To make the feedback loop as inefficient as possible, disallow the use of email or file sharing. Require postal mail or communicate only orally (by phone).
  3. Once with the exam in, don’t tell professors when it will be used; leave this open. However, do tell them that the exam, at their discretion, might not be used at all.

The grading process is even better.

  1. First, give professors one month of time for correcting the exam, but only send them the exams a few days before the deadline ends.
  2. Always send professors those exams to correct, where they did not create the actual questions, but only those created by someone else.
  3. Next, as you send professors the exams, don’t send them the solutions so that professors have to guess what the colleague was thinking.
  4. Also, mix two exams into one, so that profs get to grade both software engineering (my topic) and database management (not my topic).
  5. Finally, put all of this into a workflow that involves multiple stations but don’t explain those. Then don’t answer email.

This, in case anyone was wondering what I’m doing on a Sunday.

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