Cheat Sheets vs. Formula Sheet vs. Nothing
What are your opinions on letting students use cheat sheets (of any form) or a formula sheet on a test?
I can see two sides. One, if a student uses a formula sheet (especially one used on an state exam or whatever) then it helps them get used to using it and it only gives them a formula. Using a cheat sheet can give students an example to look at it, which means they are possibly just changing numbers and plugging in without any true understanding of the concept. But then again, you could ask harder questions, such as application so that the formula is only a small part of what you want students to do.
The other side, giving students nothing, means you are assessing both memorization and application of the formula or skill.
Which do you prefer? Does it help or hurt students to use a cheat sheet or formula sheet?
Again, I can see two sides. One, if you're thinking about college, it probably hurts them because not many professors allow that but then again, some do. Two, if you're thinking about real life, if I'm being assessed on the job, I'm going to look up whatever information I need. It seems that in real life, performance matters more than memorization. That's why we have Google, right?
In addition, I seem to remember a lot of standardized tests that give the formula in the problem...again supporting the idea that application and performance are most important.
I guess it's just hard when you think about giving a test that requires several different formulas. If a student can't remember the formula, they have no chance at applying it. If they at least have a formula, they can attempt to apply it.
If using a cheat sheet, is there any merit to the idea that writing out worked examples helps with retention?