In the age of AI, colleges return to oral exams

Looks like universities are taking some pointers from the ancient Greeks.

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Due to a serious uptick in cheating, professors are bringing back the oral exam as a way to test how much students have actually learned. The return to the old-school way of testing may be a key factor in making sure that universities are giving diplomas to students who have earned them — you know, a major part of ensuring that they hold value.

Looks like universities are taking some pointers from the ancient Greeks.

  • The University of California San Diego has been piloting oral exams across the campus — over 7,000 exams to date.
  • They typically last 10-15 minutes, consist of several questions, and then follow-up questions on how students came to formulate their answers.
  • That style puts the onus on critical thinking and not simple memorization or regurgitation — a concept that is actually motivating students and helping raise grades.
  • It also discourages cheating, which has become rampant in the era of online learning and ChatGPT.

The best aspect of oral exams is that they better mimic real-world scenarios, such as job interviews, presentations, and anything else that requires you to speak up on the spot.

Talk about education getting analog.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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