Thursday, May 10, 2007

Why some students aren't satisfied?

I was pulled aside today, in the lab, by my supervisor. He wanted to check with me on the marking of the reports for Part 1B, Experiment 21. It seems that some of the people whom I had failed, weren't happy about the results. They must've not done terribly well in their other labs as well, as it is certainly possible to collect more points than necessary to pass with the standard credit system here.

So, my supervisor told me that he had looked through my marking and wanted to check with me on the results. He noted that I had failed a fair number of people. He had already taken a look at the student's project reports and have put in copious amounts of comments on the things that were wrong. I never had the patience to write up paragraphs describing what was wrong. I tended to put a simple "Why??" at the appropriate sentence, and ask the students why. When they couldn't answer it, I will then tell them the answer by mouth. Some students would then copy the answer down and note it in their lab report. These students had the correct attitude.

The students who felt that I had not done them justice however, didn't have the right attitude. My supervisor had concurred with me that my failing them was correct. He couldn't really find any way to help them either and was hoping that I might have a change of heart and something good to say on their behalf. Needless to say, I didn't. In fact, I believe that these students had not only been failed once by me, but also been failed again, by another marker. And now, my supervisor was probably going to fail them a third time. Sad.

I shall not mention names here, though I do know who these people are. I only fail people who have not done their work. In other words, I don't fail people for being stupid. I fail them for being lazy. I don't even fail people that I don't like (as evidenced from the high marks I gave Hitler last year for his 3rd yr project). However, I am under no obligation to pass anyone. Although I may have to justify my failing them, I have no problems doing it because I only fail people who do not deserve to pass. So, I will have plenty of clear and justifiable reasons why I failed them.

PS. I am not a markup Nazi, though I may sound like one at times.

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