Photo by Ryan Brinkman | Photo Editing by Haley Hoidal
Sophomore Art and Biology double major Chloe McLeod said she believes there is too much of a focus on test taking and education as individuals when, after college, many students will be collaborating in groups.
“Test taking, especially in college, has come down to a lot of memorization,” McLeod said. “Which I know is important, but we should be doing a lot more group projects to really demonstrate and learn how to problem solve within groups and use our resources to come about the right answer.”
McLeod said she formed this opinion recently after taking group tests in high school and over Zoom during the 2020-21 academic year. Now, after returning to in-person classes, she sees a difference.
“I worked so much harder,” McLeod said. “I feel like I got way more out of it because I was able to discuss and problem solve and really go back and forth with the other person.”
Even though her partners knew the same information as her, McLeod said students were able to use their resources on group tests, such as notes. Additionally, McLeod said the group members shared their knowledge with each other to get stronger answers.
“It made the experience much more enriching than regular ‘just sit there by yourself and stress out and cry’ tests,” McLeod said.
As for classes where this format would be used, McLeod said she acknowledges it would be difficult in math and English classes, but nonetheless, professors should implement group learning and testing whenever possible.
“Specifically in my case, like in science classes, I think it’d be really, really beneficial,” McLeod said. “Especially since a lot of people who are in science or trying to go to med school or do research — you do all those things in groups.”
This format, McLeod said, would help students build each other up in academia rather than perpetuate a culture where students try to tear each other down for individual benefit.
“Group work helps to foster community, and it’s less focused on competition and more focused on supporting each other and helping each other succeed, because there’s a lot of university settings where competition can be really toxic,” McLeod said. “And so some people don’t want to help each other succeed because they want to be the best in the class, which is understandable, but we’re all trying to get somewhere.”
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