It may seem self-defeating to some, but Denmark’s Education Ministry is seriously considering allowing the use of the Internet during school exams. Apparently, the use of the Internet among Danish students is so pervasive that the government feels they should be allowed to access it during their final exams in secondary school.
Using the excuse that strengthening students’ IT abilities is essential to a well-rounded education, the ministry is presently in the middle of a 2-year trial at 13 schools around the country. The Berlingske Tidende newspaper reports that the first batch of evaluations has been overwhelmingly positive.
Gorm Leschly, the head of the secondary school teachers’ association, says, “It’s only a question of setting up the exam so it isn’t possible to cheat. We use the Internet in our teaching, so this project is good for being able to integrate it into our future exams.”
Surprisingly, students themselves admit it’s not easy to cheat using the Internet during an exam. According to the JP news agency, students are given a very short period of time in an exam to sift through the mounds of data they can call up on the Internet to answer a single question.
Training students to master the art of sorting through heaps of information is one of the Education Ministry’s main goals in the project. “The students have to learn to sort according to the quality of information found on the Internet,” said Keld Larsen, headmaster at Arhus State High School, one of the 13 participants in the trial. A final decision whether to implement the program nationwide is expected in 2011.