My first exam

…almost. They seem to take the whole “continuous assessment” thing quite far here – there are several levels of it in the larger courses, like the one I am currently lecturing.

Friday last week I set a “quiz” – a twenty minute long exam that accounts for roughly 5% of the students’ final mark. In total there are three of these throughout the course. There is another level of exam they call a “partial” each of which accounts for 15% of the students’ marks. Again there are three of these. In all, the final exam only accounts for 25% of their final mark. I digress…

This quiz that I set. I repeat – I am the one who set it. In no way did I just use the exam conveniently written in Spanish that one of the postgrads helping with my course, who will be doing most of the marking of it, simply wrote. Oh no. That never happened. Absolutely not.

The reason for holding back on writing a post about this is that the aftermath is still being felt. At least two students have so far declared that they were unable to attend on the day itself and will therefore have to do the quiz separately – naturally I can’t set the same quiz, since the content of the original is already in the public domain So I’ve had to produce a separate somewhat nastier one instead. Or at least two in fact – when I arranged a time for the two of them to turn up to my office to resit, one said they hadn’t checked their emails until it was too late (they had been given well over 48 hours notice) and the other simply never turned up.

I have no idea what will happen next with the no-shower, but I cannot imagine it will pleasant…


4 Responses to “My first exam”

  1. Amber Says:

    So, did they tell you beforehand that they couldn’t come in the first place? Because I’d say not turning up and not notifying you is an automatic fail. Not turning up to the resit is just a joke – and not getting emails doesn’t hold any water as an excuse. At my Uni it says in the course regs that email is the preferred medium of communcation and students MUST check email once a day, no excuses. Does yours say the same?

    I don’t think you should write any more exams, just tell them not to take the piss again and give them a big fat zero.

    Don’t let the little buggers take advantage of you now – otherwise the next time there is an exam you’ll have more of them deciding to take it whenever it suits them.

  2. From Calculus to Columbia Says:

    If only it was as simple as that!

    As I say this course literally has somthing like 1000+ students in and so the lecturing is spread across quite a few of us:

    Consistency must be maintained, so if many of my colleagues are lenient (and know at least some of them are) then I must follow suit.

    I should also mention that the “resit” was actually quite difficult – the one student who did it scored very badly indeed!

  3. Davie Says:

    Pass them, but make them do push-ups as part of the next re-sit. That’d learn them.

  4. Please sir, can have some more notes? « From Calculus to Columbia Says:

    […] marking (or should that be noting?) they start disputing the calculation of their grades. Remember they really go OTT with continuous assesment here and consequently actually calculating the final grade entails considerable amounts of tearing […]

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