Thursday, May 19, 2011

Convoluted Logic

Here's a real head-scratcher for you.  I mentioned in my first posting that I am studying gemology.  It's an online course which is to be completed in 2 years after which I will move on to a jewelry appraisal course.  I like jewelry & gems & thought it would be fun to learn about them.  The courses are offered by a very reputable school headed by a very reputable instructor.  I checked this all out ahead of time.

I love the course!  I love learning all these things about gems & jewelry!  Makes me wish I had thought to pursue this course of study when I was younger rather than waiting until it's almost time for Jesus to come get me.  The only problem I have with the school is their exam process ... not the final exams but the chapter exams.  The chapter exams are given every 2 or 3 or 4 chapters, they are timed, & they usually consist of 20 questions.  One question appears on your screen, you answer it, & then you are taken to the next page to answer the next question ... & so on it goes until you reach the end.  So far, so good.  Well, at one point I was taking one of these chapter exams & immediately after completing it was informed that I had answered one of the questions incorrectly.  Was I informed of what that question was or what the correct answer should have been?  No.  The only feedback I received was that I had answered Question #7 (or whatever the number was) incorrectly.  I wrote to my instructor & asked him how I was supposed to know what I had answered incorrectly when I wasn't told the question.  He said that if students were given the questions with the answers they should have chosen that they could then go back, retake the exam & get 100%.  Here is where the logic starts to get convoluted.  Some time later I was taking another chapter exam & after completing it & being given my grade, my computer screen turned white.  I wrote to my instructor to ask him if he received my grade for that particular exam.  He must have been feeling talkative that day because when he responded he told me that he never receives chapter exam grades, they are never recorded, they don't count toward your grade, & they are just given so you can see how well you are understanding the material.  I wrote back & asked that if they are not recorded, why are students not informed of the questions they answered incorrectly so they can go back & see where they misunderstood something so they can then learn what they should have learned.  I wasn't even asking that the school give us the correct answers along with the questions ... only the questions!  I pointed out that when you are sitting in a classroom & you take an exam, you get your paper back with any incorrect answers marked wrong & then either the teacher will explain why you should've answered differently or you can review the subject material & see where you misunderstood.

Yesterday I took another chapter exam.  I studied hard & felt comfortable that I knew all the material perfectly but much to my dismay I answered 2 questions incorrectly   : (   They were questions #14 & #19 ... that's all I know.  Once again I wrote to my instructor & asked how in the world I'm supposed to know where I went wrong ... what didn't I understand?  I pointed out that he told me himself that the chapter exams are not recorded so therefore it wouldn't make any difference if someone took them over again anyway.  I said that surely I am not the only student who has ever been frustrated with this setup.  Today I received his response.  He totally ignored the fact that he told me these exams are not recorded.  Once again he told me that if students are given the answers they should have chosen that they could then go back, retake the exam & get 100%.  (Once again I didn't ask for the answers, only for the questions.)  He then said that since the school has been in existence, he only remembers 2 other students expressing their frustration with this process.

I know that this is a rather lengthy post on this one subject & I apologize for that ... but am I crazy?  Does his reasoning make any sense to you?  I know I'm "stuck" with this setup ... it's his school after all ... but it sure doesn't make sense to me.        


Angela said...

Good evening Shirlee, Guess you and I are from the "old" How can you learn from the mistakes you are making? Don't get it either. What would it hurt? All you want it the question. Then you could research the correct answer. Don't take a professor to figure that one out. Sorry you are having this problem. Hope you can get it resolved. Have a great evening.