Open Thread: Are Closed Book Exams Still Relevant?

Skilled_and_unskilled_laborers_taking_the_TVA_examination_at_the_highschool_building,_Clinton,_Tennessee.-_-_NARA_-_532813Knowledge is changing. In the world of print knowledge, internalized knowledge of facts once signaled expertise. But in the age of smartphones, Google and Wikipedia, this knowledge is now at our fingertips. How important, then, is it for our students to have this knowledge memorized?

Does this change our notion of what constitutes “learning”? Are closed-book exams, the mainstay of print knowledge, still useful? Professionals rarely have to undertake closed book exams in real life. Lawyers conduct research for cases. Programmers google code. Is memorization still important for twenty first century learning?

Do you still use closed book exams? Why or why not?

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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