Pathetic exam question about a problematic, not iconic, person

Azly Rahman

Modified 31 Dec 2019, 11:43 pm

COMMENT | The question on the preacher Zakir Naik is simply strange for a test item at a university-level course as foundationally important as “Ethnic Studies”. From my decades of constructing multiple choice and essay questions, from middle school to high school to college level, my question is this: what kind of question is that?

If it is a multiple-choice question, this means that the students do not have any choice, but to regurgitate the “facts”. If the facts say that this and that person is “iconic” and preaches the “truest Islam”, then there is no room for subjective and alternative views however absurd, combative, and demeaning the preaching may be.

If exam questions are to test students' understanding of what the lecture materials are and what they have been taught, then the lectures are about Zakir Naik being an icon of Islam. How can that be possible when Ethnic Studies is about offering perspectives of what constitutes a person worthy of being called an “icon”?...

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