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Post in Besides Beauty

This Just Sounds Weird

Good thing there is an off topic section on the forum, because this is quite off topic.  It's also bugging the heck out of me.  Smiley Frustrated   This semester, I'm taking an online history class as part of the general education requirements.  The first online exam has now opened up.  Here's what's bugging me: on the newsfeed when she posted info about the exam being opened and whatnot, she said something along the lines of Keep in mind, it's a closed book exam.  Don't consult outside notes or materials.


It doesn't make sense to me because, well, it's an online class.  Students will be taking the test in different places.  Some may even go to Starbucks to take it for all I know.  This is my first online class, so it baffles me as to why she'd say that.  For the chapter reading quizzes, I do use my book as an aid, along with, probably, the vast majority of the class.  Of course, there are time limits to the quizzes and tests. 


History is not my strong point, especially since some of the quiz questions have dealt with people that were only mentioned in one sentence in the whole chapter.  History (at least what I'm reading about) does not click with me.  I can remember info about literature authors and whatnot in my English classes, but American History 2 just goes in one ear and out the other.  The political stuff is just over my head.  Heck, I don't even know if I'm a Republican or Democratic. 


But the info about the test....I don't get it.  I hope that doesn't make me sound too dumb, but it's an online class.....

Smiley Frustrated

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I have taken online courses before and the only thing I can think of when she says no outside material etc is that she may want you to write things that are opinion based on what was read/studied during the course. Other than that <.< .....>.> how is she gonna know if you used the book or not o.0 lol I would still use my notes and the textbooks that I have along side me while I'm taking the exam. 



Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I get where you're coming from with the terminology but she just means that reading materials and notes are not allowed. So however you're normally reading text books would be something you're not allowed to use.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

Oh I remember doing online exams!! All my classes were "live" in the classroom but I have had many a quiz and exam online ... they say not to use your book or notes, but c'mon they HAVE to know that by doing exams online that people will use them??


I would still study for your exam, but have the book with you when you take it to quickly reference something. Don't rely heavily on the text. I'm sure you will rock out the exam ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

First of all, most online courses I've taken have had SO MUCH HOMEWORK there is really no need to look in  a book for the test!!


The times when the situation came up, however, I answered all I could on my own and skipped the ones I didn't know the answers for so I at least would not fail due to the time limit.  Then I went back and re-read the questions and if I didn't have any idea, I would use my book.  My logic?  I would really like to say with all honesty that I followed the rules and never cheated, that is not something I would do under most circumstanses.  However, in a college class that I am paying for, for a degree I am working very hard to obtain, I want to have the highest grade possible.  If it is a class required for basics but having nothing to do with my major, I don't feel I am really doing any harm.  For a class relating to my major, I really need to know the material and looking it up under stress actually helps lock it into my brain.  The biggest advantage?  Once I have found the answer, I highlight it in my book.  I make flashcards of my material to help me study so if I didn't know the answer I must not considered it important enough to include in my flashcards.  After highlighting it in the book, I write the question and answer on a flashcard.  I will not be stumped by that question again!! Thats helpful for the final also, because those who just use their books and cheat their way through will be out of luck on the final!!

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

The times I've taken online exams and they weren't opened book I never found the need for them anyway. I'm not sure how your professor gives lectures online, but with mine he never mentioned anything in the book.  Part of me was annoyed because I spent so much buying the book that was never referenced to in lectures, but the other half made me happy to know that I'll be getting a good grade for attending class.  As others have mentioned, read through your syllabus for what will be on your exam, set aside a place to take it without disturbance and if you're a visual person, definitely make some flash cards.


I hope this helps and GOOD LUCK! Smiley Wink





Re: This Just Sounds Weird

For the looseleaf book, get sticky tabs.  Another think you could do is to make your own glossery to help yourself out.  Highlight important figures in the book so you can quickly notice them instead of digging.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I've been using Post It Note products for anything and everything when it comes to my school organization lol.  I'd be lost without them. 

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

Thank you all for posting your thoughts!  As a first generation college student, I like hearing about stories or experiences from people who have already been down the college road or are already on it.  In the end, I can only do my best.  From my college experience so far, the first test for classes is always the hardest because each teacher (that you may only have once) will issue tests differently.  My very first test during my first semester of college taught me that lesson.  I studied hard and thought I understood it all.  The test was in the testing center (which they need to work on.  I could hear people talking and fancy coffee drinks being made), and it was nothing really like the book or his lectures.  I think I made a high C on that test, but I freaked afterwards thinking my scholarships were going to be taken away and whatnot.  I recovered, and everything turned out fine.


As for the History book I have, it isn't the best.  It doesn't even have a Glossary in it, and it's brand new.  It's also one of the loose leaf books that require a binder.  That has it's advantages and disadvantages, but it's the first book I've had without a glossary.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

If it makes you feel less guilty, you could try consulting sources other than your assigned textbook for the exam.  That might sound silly, but at least you would get practice conducting research!


You could try to find useful websites (sites from universities, government or organizations are good for this), books, or scholarly journals.


I apologize if someone else has suggested this already!  

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

As a college grad and teacher myself, I have taken and taught many online courses. My advice is to study and consult minimally if at all your textbooks for the exam. You sign and enter into an academic honesty agreement when you are accepted into college and/or the online class, the teacher will probably not do well with knowing you consulted the book during th exam so I'd say advertise it not at all if you actually do and beware if you get too many correct if your grade is normally say a B, don't get an A+ on this exam because it's obvious....I know that may seem obvious, but people forget when taking an exam like this not monitored. Also, check the syllabus for the class scope and sequence, it should've been in there when you started the class and will tell you usually the seriousness of her directions.............. And good luck!!!

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I had tests like that when I was in college, only they weren't online. (Online didn't exist back then, lol). It was supposed to be on the honor system where you were expected to leave your book closed. Though I seriously wonder how many people did. I did because the classes that had these kind of exams were ridiculously easy and I never felt tempted. Mostly art and sociology classes where I think the book would hardly do you any good, you either knew the material or you didn't.


Tough stuff like physics and chemistry, we took tests in class time under the watchful eye of proctors.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

Honor code. Most of our exams are take home AND close book with a time limit. We just go to a study room or let the roommate know "do not disturb for 2 hrs".


My undergrad is a small but pretty good engineering college. There are not rules so much as Honor code (we have to sign when we enter as Freshmen). It makes the atmosphere much more relaxed (no rules, more freedom with dorm/clubs) and friendly (honor code, you can leave your laptop in the dining hall overnight and no one would touch it). The fact is, there won't always be rules or Big Brother watching when you do things or make decisions, so the college place an emphasis on honor code and good judgement. As an adult there are A LOT of times you can "borrow", "take" or "forget" things/rules without it being wrong wrong, but just because you are not breaking the rule doesn't mean people don't judge, even if they don't mention it to you.


p.s. Oh yes, I'm weak in electric/circuit/hardware and was tempted to cheat many times in the depth of despair. However, the one time I did try to cheat by looking at the book, I realized there's no way I can understand the example enough to apply it to the exam question within the time limit, and I'm not going to break both/all the rules for the exam, so I didn't. I fail at cheating. Since most of my classes were like that, I gave up on cheating.


p.p.s. If you are a master of feeling guilty like I am (I feel guilty about feeling guilty, yea), the guilt and uncomfortable feeling of cheating will last as long as you remember the event, while the sadness from a bad score will go away as soon as you get a good one.....


p.p.p.s. Also, I like the perk of me being able to look at anyone straight in the eye and tell them I've never cheated or lied, knowing I'm telling the truth and that they trust me (probably more than the person next to me, who've at least told a white lie)....and I will stop editing the heck out of this. End of essay.


Re: This Just Sounds Weird

@beautytester - Excellent Advice!!! May not always be the most popular answer, but, it should be. Hopefully if more people, like you, speak up, then people - not just students - but all people, will learn not to cheat or take the easy way out. The Honor Code is awesome, you aren't left feeling guilty afterward, that guilt is a feeling I can't handle. I would rather have a lower score and feel better about myself, not everyone feels that way.


When I was in school some close friends were very publicly exposed for cheating in a big way. The entire school knew about it and they were beyond embarrassed, I remember people shaking there heads and whispering when the girls walked down the hall. Now, some of the head shakers were also cheaters, so, I'm not sure if they were disappointed because the girls cheated, or because they got caught. Either way, for me, it's not worth it. I'm glad I wasn't involved in any way. I Thank God, literally.


Sorry if this sounds preachy or makes me unpopular, sometimes, when you are more removed from the situation it's easier to see certain things. Please try to go without the books. One of the other posts, from janinebt, talked about the need to retain info,I have a hard time retaining info as well, but, as janinebt said - someday you may be forced to know it, without any assistance, and you need to practice in anticipation of that day, she is so right. You'll feel better, I promise. I'm really sorry if this offended anyone. I hope it didn't, I didn't write it with that intent.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I took my online tests without books.  If I didn't know the answer, I would just skip it and continue on before going back to it.  That seemed to have helped me a lot.


As for remember things, always follow the old standard: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.  The more times you repeat something, the higher chance you are going to remember it.


Now as for History, I love the subject and I am probably one of the few women out there that does (most of the people who like History that I know are men).  I find it fascinating, especially with the colorful amount of characters that are within our history's past.  Best advice: research.  Yes, that is right.  The only way you are going to get history is if you take time and do a little research on the subject.  Not only does it help with appreciating our nation's pastime, but it can also help whenever it comes to important dates and stuff.  Plus, when it comes to certain people, learning and understanding their life is the key to understanding not only about that person, but the beliefs and customs of the time period.


To understand our future, we must understand the past, for history does have a tendency to repeat itself.

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I have to admit, I've taken maybe 3 or 4 online exams in my life ever.


The first 3 were when my college was just starting to set up more "online" involved study tools. The only thing was, you could always go back to click your notes.. or open the study materials in another window which our teacher actually encouraged us to do. If you did bad on one of those quizzes it was seriously VERY questionable when the answers were right there. Having the open notes actually encouraged me to pay more attention because I would really think "is THIS the answer?" and analyze it a bit more in an attempt to not look like an idiot for failing with an open book exam. hahaha


My only other online exam was a State of California Driving School course I had to pay $50 for to get out of a huge speeding ticket I had. Lesson learned, DO NOT SPEED DOWN INTERSTATE 101, ANY OF YOU or ANY highway! The price tag is ridiculous.. =(


I will say that a closed book exam sort of forces you to really pay a bit more attention and focus on the material. I too have a VERY hard time retaining information which was NOT fun especially in history classes (which I loved but geez, those dates completely disappeared in my brain). But a closed book can be beneficial particularly when you have classes that are ALL closed book. I hope that makes sense! haha


Luv&Lipgloss, Diana

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

@dianabt - you made perfect sense. I unfortunately learned the hard way about atleast one of the things you mentioned - and I'm not specifying which one(s) Actually, I suppose I just did. Duh.Smiley Embarassed

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I never had the pleasure (or perhaps even frustration) of taking an online class...although it was something I really wanted to experience while I was in college. I have however taken plenty of tests and quizzes online for classes that I've taken. Although your teacher wants everyone taking the course to keep their books closed...let's be many people are actually following that rule? However I'm certain she's saying this because she wants you to really retain information too. After all there might come a time in which one of the tests asks for your personal input for a question, so the book may only be able to help you so much.


I sometimes have a difficult time retaining information too, the worst is when you read something then pause and think 'wait what did I just read?' So usually I'll take notes as I read. Not only do they serve as an unabridged version of a specific chapter that I've reviewed, but it also helps me to absorb/further comprehend what I've just looked over.


Good luck in your class! I'm sure you'll do well Smiley Happy

Whimsically yours,

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

Yeah I'm in high school and they purposely give quizes online that either:


1) Are so easy that they raise your grade




2) Are logic-like tests that notes dont really help on, to an extent

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

I've used my book for just about all of the exams I've taken online. If she really didn't want it to be open book, I'm sure you'd have to take it in person. I've taken a couple math classes online where I had to go in to the testing center to take the midterm and final.


Just keep in mind there's probably a time limit and be aware of it!


(I'm totally with you on History.. fortunately, I don't need to take any history classes for the degree I am currently pursuing.)

Re: This Just Sounds Weird

Well personally, I would use your notes and your book ๐Ÿ˜› lol. I know I'm only 16, but I go to online school and all of my teachers encourage me to use my notes and books, even on big exams. Your teacher probably realizes a lot of students aren't going to follow that rule, I really don't even know why she would bother posting that honestly. Don't stress about it. You could try to take the test and if you know the answers, great! But if not, just use your book for a refresher. Your teacher wont ever know ๐Ÿ˜› LexiKaye<3
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