Hey, kids -- how would you feel about taking your next round of end-of-quarter exams
without even having to pick up a pencil? No, we're not talking about telepathy (though, we kind of like the idea!), we're talking about laptop testing. In a move that we can only hope spreads encouragement to classrooms around the world, about 6,000 students in the nation of Norway are being allowed to complete examinations on their laptops in a trial run that could soon be rolled out across the country.
Every single 16 to 19-year old in Nord-Trondelag county in Norway has been involved in the notebook-based system, and it's no surprise to see officials testing things out on the oldest, most "mature" students first. Just so you know, secondary students are given a laptop by the government when they turn 16 to help them with schoolwork, and during exams, there is specially-made software that launches in order to "block and record any attempt at cheating."
The crazy part? The Internet is apparently active during testing. In fact, students have to visit a website when an exam begins in order to download their questions. We get the impression that students are expected to flip the Wi-Fi off once the materials are received, and the monitoring they are under seems rather intense. Of course, students aren't apt to Google search a question when the machine is constantly taking screen grabs of their actions -- at least the smart ones won't.
We're eager to see if other nations in Europe and the world pick up on this. Naturally, we love the idea. The working world now revolves around computing, there's no reason why the world of academia should still be forced to use pencil-and-paper methods that have been largely lapped outside of the classroom.