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What's the point in coursework?

Why waste our free time making us do boring coursework. Why not just put it all in an exam, so it's easier and no one can cheat... Rolling Eyes
Just because you find coursework boring, doesn't mean everyone else does.
Some people find it easier to do coursework, and get better marks on it than in an exam, this could be because their memory isn't great. But if there were only exams and no coursework, then these people wouldn't do as well.
Having exams and coursework gives each type of person and equalish chance to do better in their preffered type.
I personally like coursework better.
There are several reasons for coursework.

For one thing, cramming for an exam exhibits little real learning. Information is remembered for a short period of time (several days) and then quickly forgotten after the exam. While this can help certain students do well in school (because they have excellent memorization skills), it doesn't help anyone learn.

Another reason is that doing coursework helps reinforce what is learned in class and through readings. Doing things with knowledge helps internalize it and give the student "ownership" of the material. Memorization is not learning; it is memorizing. True learning is never a passive act. You need to actively participate in this process, and coursework is one way to encourage active participation.

There is a caveat to remember. Coursework for the sake of coursework is as useless as a big exam at the end of class. If work is nothing but simple copying of material or something equally mindless, it will not help the student learn. Effective coursework needs to engage the student in some level of higher-order thinking.

- Walkere
Another reason for coursework could be that it is better preparation for entering the professional / work environment. After all, when you get a job and have to apply the knowledge you've gained thus far, which format would you imagine would be closer?

An exam in which you have a couple of hours in which to meet the challenge in front of you, with no access to any outside resources, thus relying solely on what you can recall within the limited time frame . . .

Or several days / weeks / months in which you can analyse the problem, gather all the information you require from any number of sources, often working in a team, ready to present your answer at the deadline.

Having said that though, I too prefer exams for passing courses. I learn a lot more on coursework, and it certainly helps me to remember what I have learnt, but I generally score better at exams.
I thought it would be obvious that coursework is for drilling in certain bits of difficult to retain yet easy to practice information (such as math).
I like doing some coursework.
Without pain there is no gain.

From Scorpions 'No Pain no Gain Lyrics'
No pain no gain (yeah)

No time for losers you make the call
Believe in yourself stand tall
Another day it's in your hand
You can be the winner in the end
Coursework is for a teacher/professor to demonstrate their teaching skill.

A teacher that gives coursework helps students identify areas to improve and topics to know for the test.
In my opinion course work is more like real life work - when you work a job in a particular profession most of what you do on a daily basis is more like course work than like tests. For example if you are getting a degree in Mechanical Engineering - most of your design classes will make use of a CAD system and CAD drawings demonstrating your ability to design components of all the standard design formats. When you get into the real world most of your time will be spent at a computer creating CAD drawings for production of parts necessary for what ever project you are designing or producing. None of the job is like a test.

Similar with Networking - all the tests are multiple choice - when you are on the job troubleshooting a connection it is more like super advanced lab work over any multiple guess tests.

Just because you can pass a test does not mean you can apply the knowledge!
Da Rossa
The OP might be right at some points.
I have a young friend how works as a Red Hat Enterprise Linux specialist. However, he doesn't have a lot of experience in the IT field, and has been working with RHEL 6. Not long ago RHEL 7 was released and he made a point about having course specifically on RHEL 7. His colleagues criticized him because this was a waste of money and workable hours, and the course was very basic, introductory. They said "if one can do something on RHEL 6, then they'd be able to work on RHEL 7".
Since I'm not an IT expert, I'm unable to comment on that particular issue.
kazikame wrote:
Why waste our free time making us do boring coursework. Why not just put it all in an exam, so it's easier and no one can cheat... Rolling Eyes

Laughing Laughing
Nice idea. But it would make you lazy and you should spend your nights for study and study nonstop a week before the exam.
Coursework ahs the purpose of making you learn better because you're more engaged in the work and education. if you just read everything on your own you can learn too but it's not as good.
kazikame wrote:
Why waste our free time making us do boring coursework. Why not just put it all in an exam, so it's easier and no one can cheat... Rolling Eyes

In my opinion both are necessary, since each require different type of effort on the student's part.

the coursework ensures the student is engaged during the entire course and learns the skills gradually, has enough time to comprehend the material and ask for guidance.

the exam ensures the student will have a motivation to review all the material and fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

since the exam is a one time event (or two maybe) it is possible that someone will not be able to perform on their best at it, but if coursework counts for the greatest part of the course evaluation, in such cases the impact on the student's final score will be less catastrophic.
So having both coursework and tests is actually in favor of the student.
Most people say that practice makes it perfect. A coursework is done by the students/trainees for the purpose of learning. If you were going to make it as per the right rules and regulation and not relying on other people and doing it by yourself you will have a high chance of learning and you will understand more of the lesson.
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