How do you measure what you have learned?

/ 10 December 2009

The way that educational institutions measure what I have learned is using tests. If I can see the results of these tests then they are certainly one tool I use to measure what I have learned. But outside of those tools I measure what I have learned based on what of it I can recall for use in the real world. So, in some areas tests may show that I learned what I needed to but I may say that I didn’t because I can’t seem to draw on that knowledge when it is really needed. I won’t exactly say any solid examples. But rather I will simply say that math, the one subject at Avalon that is purely seminars and not projects for me, is the one that though I succeed in have the hardest time at. Not in the learning and comprehending of the content, but rather in the use of it later. Though oddly rare, when writing the Objective-C code for my senior project and in similar situations I may know that I learned something I need, but can’t pull it out. The standardized math tests are of a similar nature. What I can say is that the way I work I will definitely learn the content I learn through projects much better than that which I’m learning in seminars. I can imagine that this is the stark opposite of some, if not many, or my classmates. But it is the reason why Avalon is such a good fit for me. I always say that those who end up at Avalon are ¾ the top layer of frosting on the cake of Minnesota’s students and (sadly) ¼ the students who were kicked out of every other school. This statement, too, is deeply rooted in the way Avalon has allowed me to grow.