More on Exams
Here is another sticky exam question:
Should a professor deduct points for “wrong” answers?
Let me defend the “yes” argument. First, the ability to issue spot, is the ability to issue spot. If a student takes the “throw everything against the wall to see what sticks” approach, then they don’t really understand the material.
(Now, that said, I won’t deduct points if the student raises a potential issue/line of analysis and ultimately concludes that it is inapplicable.) But the truly irrelevant, I believe, shows a lack of understanding. I also think that profoundly faulty analysis deserves deductions as well. If the student’s analysis shows that he/she doesn’t understand the law, I deduct points for it.
(Now, before my crim 1Ls start to panic, this doesn’t mean that every single misstep is a deduction, but I do believe that there is a difference between a student who gives a mediocre analysis and a student who gives a mediocre analysis and then throws in irrelevant junk. The first student simply understands the course better.)
I know everyone doesn’t share this view. Counterarguments?