(Continued from third page.)
viewed.- (b) Evils resulting from chance and external conditions largely removed.- (x) Average results of frequent tests much more accurate than results of one or two.- (c) Nervousness of students greatly lessened.- (x) Not so much at state on each examination.- (2) A more beneficial method to our students.- (a) Requires more uniform and regular work.- (x) No interruption of term.- (y) Inducements to "cramming" greatly lessened.- (1) Students would tend to maintain a high standard of work in view of shortly recurring examinations.
III. Proposed system would retain any advantages of present method.- (1) Better means for training students to state concisely what they know when called upon.- (a) Owing to greater frequency of tests.- (b) A more regular systematic training.- (2) A comprehensive view of year's work equally well gained in proposed system.- (a) Uniform standard of work maintained.- (b) A connected, interdependent system of examinations.
Brief for the Negative.T. S. WILLIAMS and F. D. POLLAK.
I. The proposed system would not adequately test the student's work.- (a) It could not fairly test his grasp of a subject as a whole.- (1) Successive hour examinations on particular periods would not so test his work.- (x) No one of them would apply to his work as a whole.- (2) A final hour examination on the work as a whole could not be a fair test. (x) Not more than two or three general questions could be given on such an hour examination.- (A) Time must be left for special questions.- (B) Not more than seven or eight general questions are now given in a three-hour examination.- (y) When questions are so few chance largely determines the result of an examination.
II. The proposed system would comparatively discourage the getting of general views.- (a) The present system lays stress on such views.- (1) It demands review of semi-annual periods.- (b) The proposed system could not lay stress on such views.- (1) It could not adequately test them, as was shown above (Ia).
III. The proposed system would injuriously restrict methods of work.- (a) It would virtually compel students to work at all their courses at the same time.- (1) It would require them to be ready for examination in all at the end of the same short periods.- (b) This rigid enforcement of simultaneous work is bad.- (1) It is often necessary for best results to put most of one's time on one subject for a continuous period, as in thesis writing.- (2) It is always desirable that students should feel that they can work continuously on one subject if they wish to.- (x) To prevent them from so doing checks interest.- (3) Rigid enforcement of one method of work tends to check independence and spontaneity of method.
IV. The proposed system would injuriously affect the aim and direction of work.- (a) It would cause a larger proportion of the work to be done with the examination in view.- (1) The fear and thought of examinations would be more constantly present to the student's mind.- (x) Examination would be always impending: N. S. Shaler in Atlantic, Ixviii, p. 96 (July, 1891); E. A. Freeman in Nineteenth Century, xxiv, p. 641 (Nov., 1888).- (b) Such increase of work for examinations would be a great evil.- (1) It would tend to destroy originality and individuality: Max Muller, in Nineteenth Century, xxiv, p. 639 (November, 1888).- (2) It tends to destroy the idea of work for work's sake: Shaler, loc. cit.