Author Topic: S/O PD Student Darwinism  (Read 261133 times)

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #1545 on: Yesterday at 03:58:28 PM »
I often had to proctor pre- and post-tests when I worked for the GED program.  It worked like this:

Student takes locator test to determine which level of pre-test to take (Levels 1-4)
Locator is corrected.
Student takes assigned pre-test which will determine what educational equivalent they are at currently.  This determines how long they must take classes (6 weeks; 8 weeks; 16 weeks or 26 weeks)
At the completion of classes the student takes a post-test to see if they're ready to take the exam.
Exam is done at an official offsite location.

Two sisters come in for the pre-test.  I was not their proctor.  They both score perfectly on Level 4 (highest level) so they are put into the 6-week classes.  They complete the classes and are sent to me to be given the post-test.  I give them instructions that include "do not remove the binding from the edge of the test".  This is important later.  It is a test where you fill in the bubbles of the answer you feel is correct.

I notice them removing the binding from the edge of the test.  This is not allowed.  I remove the tests and issue new ones and instruct them, again, not to remove the binding.  When I sit in front of them to observe them taking the test they ask why I'm there.  I tell them that testing security standards require me to be in the room at all times while they are testing.

In order to score the test I remove the binding and peel the two pages apart.  The back page of the carbon form has the bubbles prefilled to show the correct answers.  If the student's mark appears anywhere else in the field it is marked as incorrect.

They failed miserably.  I got to the files and pull their pre-test.  The proctor who gave it notes that the students removed the binding but she let them take the test anyway.  All the students had to do was peel apart the pages and they could see the answers.  It was also discovered that the proctor left the room during testing so never observed them.

When the director and I confronted the students about how they had perfect scores on the pre-test and every answer incorrect on the post-test they claimed "we studied really hard for the pre-test".  I asked "how could you have studied for a test you didn't know you were going to be given?".

They were not allowed to take the exam, dismissed from the program and the other proctor was fired.


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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #1546 on: Yesterday at 04:40:05 PM »
I'm fascinated by the rational of "I don't want to do this, so I shouldn't have to do it" in academics. Where on earth does someone get the idea that they can *do* that?

(facetious question, I'm sure they got the idea from parents that protested and went to battle any time Pwecious has a school assignment that Pwecious didn't like. The mind is just blown by someone being comfortable saying that)

I did it once and got away with it, but I had very good reasons for doing it.  I went back to school to do my master's degree in science after working in the industry for many years.  I actually went back to school part time while working full time, and my employer was paying for half the bill *this is an important fact*.  One of my courses was vaguely called "seminar" and it was mandatory, so I assumed it was going to be on a variety of science topics.  Dead wrong.  It ended out being seminars on whatever the powers that be felt like presenting on, a large part of which included how to find a job in the industry, which I already had, and how to put together resumes and whatnot.  I sucked it up and went to the class and did most of the assignments because hey, it never hurts to have your butt kicked to update your resume as it's one of those things we all put off if we're working.  I also got a lot of office work done in 3hrs of pretending to listen to The Corporate Environment and You and rejoicing in the fact that my lecture hall was in the basement and the cell service didn't work so the office couldn't text me, email me or even think about calling.  It was kind of beautiful actually. 

Where I put my foot down and refused to do the assignment was I was assigned to actively job hunt and go out on interviews, and produce evidence of results of my interviews.  Um no.  I'm employed full time and to take time out of my job to interview for another job for a degree that my company is paying thousands for is so not kosher.  I told the university I would happily be on the other side of the table and interview classmates as many were having troubles securing interviews.  It's not that I was trying to get out of the assignment entirely, it's just that the programme was new and the assignment had not been thought through completely and put experienced and employed workers in awkward positions.  The university actually ended up agreeing with me.  Since then I think they've ditched the assignment because the whole thing was way more trouble than it was worth.  Nothing like sending 75 students out interviewing in a tiny job market when none of them has any intention of taking the job, especially when those same 75 students are going to be hitting the same market 8 months later desperately trying to get jobs.

Wow, that sounds like a horrible assignment.  Practice interviews (professors, other students) would be much better.  There are absolutely sometimes good reasons.  That of course changes the complaint/request from "I don't want to" to "I don't want to because [good reason]".  My cousin's wife has a eating disorder that is mostly under control.  She is majoring in nutrition, where there is a lot of discussion about eating disorders.  There's a particular video that's shown in a lot of the classes that's a BIG trigger for her.  So she talks to the professors ahead of time, explains the situation, offers to do something else instead (a key component to demonstrating you're not just looking to get out of work), etc.  So far no one's had a problem with it.  But she doesn't just whine about not wanting to do it.

I totally agree that when you have a good reason not to take something, then it's worthwhile to bring that up, citing your good reason, and see what the Power That Be say. I was more commenting on people who simply say "I don't want to do this" as the full concept/explanation ("I don't want to, so I shouldn't have to"), and expect that their unsubstantiated wants be agreed to and accommodated instantly.

When I was in high school, I opted out of doing dissections in Bio (which we had to take to graduate high school). Why? Because I have a needle phobia and I also feel extremely uncomfortable around razors/scalpels (when I have to use a straight razor for crafting or work, it makes me break out into a cold sweat, so I do as much as I can to minimum the need to use them, especially since sweaty hands using a razor blade are a recipe for disaster (my hands actually got sweaty just writing this)). I told my teacher that I'd be more than happy to look at photos of already cut-open worms and frogs, and identify the innards in those, or do whatever reading/writing/testing assignment he wanted, if I could just get out of the dissections. It probably helped my case that I was visibly pale & sweating just talking about it. So he gave me other work, and I did it in a separate classroom during the dissections, and all was well.

But I had a clearly identified problem, and I was more than happy to do alternate work to make up for my problem being catered to. Having those phobias didn't excuse me from doing some amount of make-up work, nor should it.

Also, the interviews thing is horrible. If I, as an employer, found out that a school was advocating this, and I'd interviewed some of their people for a job, I would call the university and request to speak to the Dean about how knowing that students going to that school were actively wasting my time interviewing for jobs that they had no interest in accepting seriously damaged my view of any potential candidates that went to that school (note: I'm not sure what(if any) legalities would come into play there, and I'd find that out first, but I would want to make sure that the university knew that that practice was unacceptable).
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine


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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #1547 on: Yesterday at 05:13:42 PM »
Beagle Mommy, your experience reminded me of someone who once came in to take the written test for his driver's license.  Our rules are: if you do not pass the test the first time, you are allowed to sit and study what you got wrong and then can try again.  Maximum is 3 attempts per day, with studying allowed between each attempt.  Our tests are created fresh on the computer for each attempt.  Some people will ask if it is the same test each time, and I explain that each test is unique.  Some of the questions will be the same, most will not be, and if a question turns up in more than one test, its position is different.

Now this guy, I don't know if he wasn't listening to my explaining about the tests not being identical, or if he just misunderstood.  He failed the first time, and sat back down to study.  He tries again, and does even worse the second time.  Only this time, he is arguing with me.

"The answer to #1 is A!"  I am looking at him like he is crazy, because answer A says it is okay to enter an expressway on one of the entrance ramps.  And every one he got wrong was like this: he is picking wrong, wrong, wrong answers and arguing that he is right.

I finally figure out what is happening.  He sat down and memorized the answer numbers on the first test, not the actual answers.  If it had been the same test, he would have a perfect score.

He was so angry at us, because we made him do all that work and then we tricked him.  What I could never figure out was that if he could memorize that many (50 questions) meaningless numbers and letters, why couldn't memorize something meaningful, like the actual rules of the road?

Perhaps he couldn't read, but we do have alternatives.  I never got a chance to go over any because he stormed out of there.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy


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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #1548 on: Yesterday at 08:52:50 PM »
   There's a particular video that's shown in a lot of the classes that's a BIG trigger for her.   
There's the problem. Curriculum design. There shouldn't be a film that's shown in more than one class, in an academic program. The faculty should get together and decide in which class the film will be shown, and everyone else should select other films or activities to replace it in their class.