Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Heart of a Heartless Creature, Soul of a Soulless Condition

Overheard at the end of a final class today:
STUDENT: Professor, are you going to put any sample exam questions online?
PROFESSOR: No, it's against my religion. [Exit PROFESSOR]
Just remember - as long as there's no information asymmetry, you're all in the same position in which you would have been in had you got information about the exam.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's not true. Student's who make more of resources (either through harder-work or superior smarts) will do betterm relative to others, the more resorces they have.

Anticipating a "law of diminishing returns" response I'll point out that while there are far more resources than any one student could use, this particular resource, examples of answers the grading professor likes, is unique. It is not hard to imagine 20 motivated student dissecting the answers, figuring out exactly what the professor wants, and killing the exam.

I realize these 20 students would likely have done well anyway, but it seems quite possible that they will do better relative to the rest with the additional information.

I also think that there is no better way for a student to know what a professor wants than to see it. It seems that, since we are all competing wiht each other, we should all know what we are trying to do. I don't think that equally prepared students should get different grades because one correctly guesses what kind of answer a professor likes and the other does not.

That's a long way of saying that the lack of information asymmetry doesn't cure everything.

Rule 12 (f) said...

We actually agree with just about all of that, our comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, and a reference to an earlier post (a joke along the lines of if we all don't study we'll all be the same position that we would have been, etc).