Open-note assessments impacting students’ learning habits

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

Many aspects of the average school day have been altered or removed completely due to
the pandemic, which is nothing new to us at this point. With many schools still utilizing the
hybrid teaching model – some students at school with some learning from home – administering tests has become significantly more difficult.
Pre-pandemic, students would cram in studying for their exams minutes before they
would have to take a timed test that would involve them recalling information simply from
memory. This seems like a normal occurrence for all students before the year 2020, but now,
many could not imagine the situation.
There is obviously no way for teachers to monitor what their students are doing while
taking tests and quizzes from home. There is no ability to restrict resources such as textbooks, notes, peers, and, of course, the internet. This has caused not only online students to receive the leniency of “open-note tests,” but in person students as well now have access to anything they choose while taking tests.
The idea of open-note tests is extremely stress relieving for students who do not
understand the material or who didn’t have enough time to study. For the student, it ensures they maintain a good grade in the class while not having to spend so much time retaining information.
Future students who receive this exception when taking tests might need to resharpen
their learning skills after the pandemic. Because students will be so used to taking tests with all resources available, they will be at a disadvantage for college and possibly in their career. Their brains will not be trained to learn the same way compared to memorizing information and formulas.
Although technology has helped the world in some of the greatest ways when we have
needed it most, it still has its obvious setbacks, including how reliant people have become.
Administering open-note tests is making people more and more reliant on the internet and not on their own brains and knowledge.