Lack of Consistency

I should change the name of the blog to Adventures in School with all the entries I’m making about it lately.  I guess it’s o.k. though, it is what is going on in my life right now.

Last Friday we took a test, and we had a curious issue pop up.  The person grading the tests is being hugely inconsistent.  We’re being asked questions about items that are not showing up until later chapters, one group of students are marked incorrect on an answer and another group of students receives positive credit for the same question.  IE a multiple-choice question that the answer is “A” a group of 10 students mark “A” and 5 get it right and 5 get it wrong.

To which I say, “WTF?!?!?”

We are also receiving questions that do not give enough information to formulate what is the correct response.  Then there are two possible right answers.  It’s a case where we need to flip a coin and hope for the best.  The specific question was, “You are moving a client in their wheelchair towards a curb, what way do you tilt the wheels to move safely over the curb?”

Well, there is a huge, important piece of information missing, specifically how am I approaching the curb?  Am I going down it or up it?  Both appropriate answers were provided, and I picked the “wrong” one.

I’m getting frustrated.  I’m expected to read and retain the information and when I do, I get marked wrong for correct answers.

My feeling is with what I’m paying for this course that:

1. The people grading the tests need to be consistent.  If one student gets credit for an answer and another does not for providing THE SAME ANSWER, that’s a problem.  Either all the answers in that case are wrong or they are correct.

2. The questions need to contain enough information so that if there are two possible right answers for a scenario, we have enough information to determine which one is correct.  There was no case where there was a more correct answer, both possible answers were equally correct given the information provided.

The last test the grading errors cost me 6 percent of the grade.  I received an 88 and I should have been given a 94.  For me this isn’t such a problem on the class that I’m passing.   However the one I’m barely passing, if it has the same issues, that 6 percent could be a huge issue.  It could be the difference between a pass and fail.

I’m not sure how I’ll address this.  Perhaps with the program director privately first, and if nothing is done perhaps shame them in front of the class?

I think most of the issue is that they are using old test materials from a previous edition of the textbook.  Still, that doesn’t account for the inconsistent grading where two students are being marked differently for the same answers.  I’ve been a teaching assistant in the past, and I know this type of thing is unacceptable.  The expectations are high for both students and instructors, as they should be.  Students are expected to do the homework and reading, and instructors should be providing honest and accurate testing.  I feel like I’m covering my part but the instructors are not.  *ugh*

A puzzle indeed.

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4 Responses to “Lack of Consistency”

  1. Seems like a no-brainer to me. You need to address this issue with the Program Director ASAP. You are paying for a quality education that you are NOT getting. You are working hard to pass these courses and being sabotaged by no fault of your own. Good luck!

  2. I guess I’m confused. I always use Scantrons for the multiple choice questions — that way, I don’t have to worry about getting lost in a list of letters when grading.

  3. I agree that you should get the same credit for the same answer given. But I can say with confidence they will say tough shit on the questions with multiple right answers. They will just tell you that you don’t know how to take this style of exam…and that there is always at least ONE answer that is BETTER than the rest even though it doesn’t seem like it. The NCLEX is the same way. There always needs to be more information but that’s just the way these exams go.

    I would argue that credit should be equal amongst students but you won’t get anywhere with the other complaint.

  4. It’s certainly a strange situation. The issue keeps happening (grading errors) and not due to more that one correct answer, with a more correct answer. The problem is actual grading errors. Yesterday I got 4-points of 50 deducted for giving a right answer about a nursing process. I think the frustrating thing is I study my butt off, and get marked wrong for correct answers.

    I’m kind of conflicted on this. Now that I have my last requirement to continue in the class beyond next Thursday completed, I will bring it up. I wasn’t wanting to rock the boat before now just in case I needed some understanding from the program director to buy time to complete the last continuing enrollment requirement.

    I really like the director and staff on a personal level, but the grading issues needs correction. When you’re losing an entire letter grade on your exams because of their errors, there is a problem. *ugh*

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