Our approach to formal assessment seems to be so outdated that even pub quizzes are showing it up. The irony of a team of teachers winning a pub quiz by accessing the answers on their smart phones shouldn’t be lost on us. The kids I teach can access everything which is blocked to them in the classroom by stepping outside into the corridor to use their phones. They can access Facebook and Youtube and Twitter and possibly the answer to every question we are currently asking in school.
Even in the pub, after his customary half-pint of guiness, Kenny Pieper can see how outmoded our systems of formal assessment are.
Closed questions, closed books and devices switched off are all signs of a mode of assessment that, while they might offer results that can populate league tables, really offer little else of value today.
Our relationship to information has changed, but the processes that test that relationship have not.