"fairness" in grading

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Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 09:04 pm
"fairness" in grading
I am new to nursing school, first semester, and I really love the pt contact portion of clinicals so far. I have a question concering an exam I took this week. The exam was written by a new instructor, fresh up from assisting, and fresh MSN. The exam was brutal. Out of 60 students less than 10 passed. I made the highest score in the program with an 88. The problem is that the instructors are talking about giving credit for questions that were missed by a majority of the students. Ie, if I got the question right, I don't get anymore credit; the students that missed the question do. My problem is that I'm a dad and husband, and I bust my backside for the grades. None of it "comes natural." I can see where luck of the draw would have someone with a lower score actually making a better grade than I did, depending on the questions chosen to be adjusted. I don't want appear petty, but I take this profession REALLY serious, and I want you to trust me with your grandma. Part of care is knowledge. I agree the exam was hard, probably too hard. But I worked for the grade. What do you guys think? What do you think would be fair? Curve? Retest?
Please give me some feedback. Confused
 
harrisjw
 
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:31 pm
Fairness in grading
I encountered your post while doing literature review for a research paper I'm writing for my Master's in Education. I thought is was right on the mark for the problem I'm studying.

First of all, and this is mainly for the teachers, grading is a philosophical decision, don't confuse scores with grades. Grades are based on measurement and after the measurements are analyzed, that's when grading can be done.

The problem here is that the measurements were not analyzed. Just raw scores were translated into grades without regard for the validity and reliability of the test. Retesting shouldn't give much different results, and if you consider what curving does then you'll realize that it is just as unfair as giving credit for missed questions as you describe.

What has to be done is normalization...a statistical method which will identify the reliability of the test and allow the scores to be analyzed on the basis of a normal distribution....bell curve. Chances are this test suffered from both being very hard and from not being reliable (implied by the willingness to fudge for some questions).

Since you're in a nursing program, I'm thinking there may be people in the department or school who will understand how to normalize the test....key words are Z-score and T-score.

I have no doubt that you worked hard for your score and that the arbitrary method of scoring and grading, neither of which have been approached scientifically, is vexing to you and all the other students who experineced this trial. It may not be too late to petition for an analysis of the scoring and a consideration for assigning new grades. If you encounter someone willing to help in the administration but needing more information on how to do it, don't hesitate to have them contact me via [email protected].
 
wilsondr
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 01:54 pm
wow, harris your analysis of the first year nursing student was right on the money. i too am a new graduate of a two year nursing program. during my program there were similar events. i feel the new student who received an 88% should be a glowing with self confidence and not be so worried about the grades of his peer's. perhaps tutoring his class mates may help to reduce his anxiety. and, he is correct, the frustration does seem to be petty.
 
wilsondr
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 09:37 pm
grades
152 views and no replies. as a dialysis tech i understand that people are busy, but only lively banter can keep people interested.
 
 

 
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