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What I decided to do in the end

I posted what I decided to do in the end, and what I learned from the community, in my answer below.

What I decided to do in the end

I posted what I decided to do in the end, and what I learned from the community, in my answer below.

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Editor's note: additional information provided in a comment:

There are about 600 students in the course. It just so happens that I am the "academic advisor" to 6 students, 4 of whom are taking the course. We have a WhatsApp group, where we can communicate casually about school-related stuff. (WhatsApp is an instant messaging app.) I've found that the fastest way to get feedback from students is not using e-mail but using WhatsApp. So I'm taking Solar Mike's advice to ask a select few students how they feel about this handwritten-only policy, to get an idea of what the broader student population thinks.

Editor's note: additional information provided in a comment:

There are about 600 students in the course. It just so happens that I am the "academic advisor" to 6 students, 4 of whom are taking the course. We have a WhatsApp group, where we can communicate casually about school-related stuff. (WhatsApp is an instant messaging app.) I've found that the fastest way to get feedback from students is not using e-mail but using WhatsApp. So I'm taking Solar Mike's advice to ask a select few students how they feel about this handwritten-only policy, to get an idea of what the broader student population thinks.

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To be brutally honest, if an "open book" exam is made substantively easier by having reference to all the course/lecture material simply presented verbatim, then it's not a very good open book exam...

On the other hand, if the challenge posed by your exam wasn't really affected just because students brought in all the lecture materials, then what's the issue?

You raise a very good point that I hadn't considered earlier. Personally, I don't think that bringing in all the lecture materials would help a student significantly, because our quizzes do test understanding and analysis rather than rote memorization.

The reason why I would still nevertheless prefer to require a handwritten cheat sheet is because I feel that a significant proportion of students are lazy, and without being prodded (by having to handwrite a "cheat sheet"), they would just copy the lecture slides wholesale and hope for the best.

If the exam was in the middle of the semester, why didn't you bring up the change earlier?

If the exam was in the middle of the semester, why didn't you bring up the change earlier?

To be brutally honest, if an "open book" exam is made substantively easier by having reference to all the course/lecture material simply presented verbatim, then it's not a very good open book exam...

On the other hand, if the challenge posed by your exam wasn't really affected just because students brought in all the lecture materials, then what's the issue?

You raise a very good point that I hadn't considered earlier. Personally, I don't think that bringing in all the lecture materials would help a student significantly, because our quizzes do test understanding and analysis rather than rote memorization.

The reason why I would still nevertheless prefer to require a handwritten cheat sheet is because I feel that a significant proportion of students are lazy, and without being prodded (by having to handwrite a "cheat sheet"), they would just copy the lecture slides wholesale and hope for the best.

If the exam was in the middle of the semester, why didn't you bring up the change earlier?

2 responded to comment by Mayou36
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