Thursday, May 19

Therese Sollien answers: «Precise and unvarnished about exams»

Our recommendation to cancel the exam is based on a knowledge-based assessment of a number of dilemmas.

It has been a demanding assessment to recommend canceling the exam, writes Sissel Skillinghaug in the Directorate of Education.
  • Sissel Skillinghaug
    Sissel Skillinghaug

    Division Director, Directorate of Education

This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.

We agree with Aftenposten commentator Therese Sollien that it is important to take everyday life back to school. Our recommendation – which she describes as “absurd” – is that the best thing for students’ learning is to use the time left over from the school year, for training and position assessment.

The exam is an important part of the final assessment in Norway, and together with the point of view, it should give the students the opportunity to show their competence. In our recommendation to the Ministry of Education and Research, we highlight the arguments for and against the completion of the exam in the spring of 2022.

Although there are many arguments for canceling the exam, there are also arguments for completing. It has therefore been a demanding assessment.

Censorship error

Sollien believes it would “be easy to ensure” that the challenges with a fair assessment are solved by the examiners. But our exams are not censored as Sollien describes it.

The examiner is anonymous, and the answers are distributed randomly and digitally from different schools to the examiners. The examiners thus receive answers from many different schools.

An examiner will not know about the education the different students have had at a particular school or city, and can thus not take this into account in the censorship.

It is also not the case that the examiners assess the students according to a normally distributed curve.

Different considerations

It is a strength of the Norwegian school that the pupils’ diplomas mainly consist of position assessments made by their teachers. In this there is a great deal of trust in the school and the teachers’ professional practice.

Our recommendation to cancel the exam is based on a knowledge-based assessment of a number of dilemmas, where different considerations pull in slightly different directions. The absurd would be an ignorant approach.

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