On Dec. 9, a user with the handle @gamerdadtv posted a duet with another teacher (@ms.sutherd), who wanted to “normalize letting students use their notes that they take during their tests.” In the duet, @gamerdadtv, who also apparently streams on Twitch, explains why he lets his students do so.
“One is when we just do quizzes, I let them do it twice because I want them to learn the thing,” he says in his TikTok. “So if they get something wrong, they go back, check it and they do it again and they remember it. I’m not just gatekeeping and trying to get them to memorize.”
The professor then gives his second reason for letting his students rely on their notes for their exams.
“Two: I get them to make a journal,” he continues. “They make notes all the way through the course, and they can bring their journal to their final exam ’cause they’ve done the research. Again, I’m not trying to teach them to memorize things — I can’t memorize everything — I’m teaching them to problem-solve, to learn.”
The TikTok has since gone viral, receiving over 1.3 million views and more than 300,000 likes. Many TikTok users praised him for being understanding.
“Goat,” one person wrote. “Not all of us learn the same way.”
“You make great students,” another added.
Some students have long argued that taking exams traditionally (read: without the use of notes) does nothing to help them learn. In a 2018 article for student news publication The Roar, Santa Clara High School student Sam Hunt, for example, argued that the “entire concept of memorization is flawed.”
“A student gains no new skills by committing facts to memory, especially considering that, according to the research of psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, students will forget the majority of what they commit to memory,” Hunt wrote. “[…] Making students study just to forget whatever they learned after the test is just a pointless waste of time and energy.”
If you liked this story, check out this high school student who was left in tears after her chemistry final went wrong.
More from In The Know: