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Banning the (smart) watch

It seems rather silly at this point in time to be saying that technology has changed our lives and continues to do so. Good one, Captain Obvious! However, it’s the smaller things that are popping up that we may not have thought about. How long ago was it that smart phones were banned from exam rooms? Now it’s time to ban the watch.

Ariel Bogle, writing for reports on the uptake of the smart watch and how La Trobe and UNSW are among the first universities in Australia to ban them in exam rooms.  Read the full article.  While China is taking things a touch further by using an anti-cheating drone to deter would-be rorters of the system.

At Macquarie University, students are advised on the Before your exams webpage that the following is not to be brought into exams mobile phones or electronic devices, including but not limited to laptops, iPads, MP3 players, electronic dictionaries and handheld computers.’  Is this statement clear enough or do we need to be more explicit?  Or do we need to rethink our approach to exams in an age where content is a click away?



3 thoughts on “Banning the (smart) watch”

  1. The point of an exam has always been to test the “mental model” the student has developed. Is it fit for purpose? Depends of course on what the purpose is but in computing it means you have internalised certain complex systems. People have always been connected enough to get around a test of this if you don’t restrict the environment of the test. There is no talking in exams because information is never more than a “shout” away. Well, now the radio waves join the sound waves in transmitting information so they too must be restricted to maintain the desired test. If we decide we don’t need tests like this then that is fine but it has always been so. Anyone in the last thousand years could have said “I don’t mind if my students use their connected devices (ears and eyes) to get external information to help them.” The equation has not changed, just the number of connected devices.

  2. …rethink our approach to exams in an age where content is a click away?

    The iWatch (I want one yesterday!!) is the the first truly personal device. Rather than ban, we should think of novel ways of incorporating it into L&T, and perhaps reconsider the purpose of examinations, and indeed the exam room, in 21C.

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