Take the Test Yourself


Two responses to David Morris' challenge

Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 08:29:10 -0500
From: "John Legge" <jlegge@bigpond.net.au>


In one of his last interviews, (reprinted in the Australian Institute of Management newsletter) Peter Drucker rejected the claim that business schools produced "leaders": he said that they should claim no more than that they taught ordinary people how to perform competently without repeating too many of the mistakes that others have previously made.

I certainly take no pleasure in giving any student a low pass or a fail grade; but equally, I don’t spray High Distinctions around because very few students can make the transition from competence to excellence.

As a textbook author I don’t always score 100% on tests generated from my own test bank; but I do generally pass them. As an instructor I would probably do slightly worse on other people’s tests, often because I don’t agree with all their views; sometimes because people can write good textbooks without achieving a 100% elimination of ambiguity in the questions in their test banks.

I think that we should leave it to economists to claim that they know the complete answer to every question; in marketing and business generally we are expected to make judgements using incomplete data on the basis of our limited understanding of consumer and buyer needs and wants.

As business educators we should be able to sort our students into those capable of taking an original and effective approach to a business problem; those who are able solve those problems that can be solved by the application of the techniques that we have attempted to teach them, and those who will create problems where they didn’t previously exist.

We should then be able to award appropriate marks or grades.

John M. Legge
Teaching Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology

Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 14:14:41 -0600
From: "Goff, Brent" <Goffb@uhd.edu>

I give book tests comprised of randomly selected questions. I also let the students argue the answers. If they can show me page and sentence in the book where their answers are feasible I allow alternative answers. About 20% of the questions have more than one feasible answer.