Sunday, October 14, 2012

Exams: Distinction is actually just Pass

I sometimes tell my kids that in real life scoring distinctions in exams often meant you just passed. Standards often have to be kept much lower otherwise most people will fail. This is wrong. I believe and I hope in my lifetime all these will change. In fact I can see the early shoots of change coming already. Teaching and learning has to be more effective so that today distinctions is the new pass grade.

At DigiPen they do not confer you their diploma unless you are good enough for work at graduation. No wonder so many flunk out. All our schools produce graduates that still need much training before they can contribute meaningfully to their organizations. That is why many employers are not willing to hire fresh grads. Those that do are the ones who want to grow their timber.

Take charge of your own education and avoid being the product of a cookie cutter. And you must learn to sell your abilities without people having to try you out because they are not likely to give you that chance.

A side point. DigiPen is a furnace to test if one truly has the passion for creating computer games. It is good to achieve self knowledge early. Just because you are passionate about something more than any of your friends do not prove that your passion is sufficient. It is easy for the young to get this wrong. Most people will not be narrowly focused but find pleasure in integrating various skills and disciplines. Keep in mind that passion must exist in the context of mastery, autonomy and meaning. These three features are stitched together by the thread of relationship.

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