If 50% of the class failed an exam..Was it because the instructor failed to teach?

  1. I am at my second semester of nursing school. Okay, the first semester, we lost about 8 to 9 people because they could not handle it. This is the second semester. We got a new pharmcology instructor teaching this semester. My first pharmcolgy test was 97%. The new pharmcology instructor was not teaching us a the time when I recived the 97%. The new pharmcolgy instructor came in during mid semester. We had our first test today from the new pharmcology instructor today. I failed it. I would be happy if I got above 60%. We need 75% to pass. A lot of students told me and complained to the instructor that they were not prepared and my classmates told me they failed it. It is not like I am dumb and ready to get weeded out as how the new pharm instructor looks at it... In theory, and my other nursing classes I am close to 90%. The new pharmcology instructor is new and quite young, maybe 24 years old and inexperienced in teaching...She told the class at the other school she is teaching at, a lot of people fail...If I fail pharm, I don't continue...
    Last edit by hopefully on Oct 17, '05
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   TexasPediRN
    Where the students who were complaining they were not prepared complaing because they had not studied enough, or were they complaining because the material was completely different then expected?

    Were you told what to study? If so, they I have to say there isnt really an excuse.. (this is in general, im not attacking you so please dont think I am!)

    Since this prof. came in mid semester, thats got to be hard. I guess most people were used to how the other professor taught and not this new one..


    I think that you should talk to this professor though, and explain this to her. I'm going on the assumption that the style of the test was not what you expected, not the material that was covered?

    Changing mid semester is hard, but change in nursing is inevitable. Maybe she can offer a 'make-up' test, or give you a chance to redo your test to gain 1/2 back for each question you got wrong. Thats have i've had a few tests done. Take the test, look up the answer, justify where you got it from or your reasoning, and gain half credit. It helps. See if she is willing to do this. Also explain what you were used to with pharm tests and how the change may be what made a lot of people do poorly.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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  4. by   hopefully
    There was a red flag in here. She told the class, "A lot of people pass theory but fail pharm in the other school I teach in. You need to pass pharm to go on." The stuff she lectured about in class was not in the test. She told the class to read the chapters which were 8 long chapters with no focus on what to study for. She gives us these drugs on the test from out of the blue from the book and she expects us to know about 800 or so drugs without telling us to know which one to focus on. And the drugs she told us to focus on were not in the exam. There were a lot of drug questions. If you missed those drug question, a percentage of your grade is down the drain, say maybe 12%. She gave us these questions on the test, she did not even mention. In any case, a person who got straight A's last semester was vocal in complaining to her that the test was not what she expected.

    The way I look at it, she is just there for a pay check. If students fail, or a majority of them do, she probably would not care. Dang, now I have to go into Phd level to pass this course..
  5. by   z's playa
    Definately bring the complaint to the dean or whoever it is in charge. This is pretty new to her too and I'm sure she will make mistakes. This sounds like it could count as numero uno !

    Our prof figured out after everyone stayed after for the tutorial with the teachers assistant in one of our classes, that we needed extra time. She didn't want to have to bell curve the exam. It was her first time teaching this class too..so she was able to admit she probably wasn't getting her message across to us...and postponed the exam 1.5 weeks.

    Maybe she can bell curve yours? Anyways....definately talk to someone.

    Z
  6. by   TexasPediRN
    hopefully-

    Wow. Our pharm class was always integrated with all of our nursing classes, so i've never had a straight out just pharm course.

    I think that 8 chapters, and no focus isnt really correct. I would recommend talking to the prof. still, and if nothing changes, I would go to your head of the nursing department and just explain to her that you (and hopefully some other students) have tried talking to this teacher and that her teaching methods are ineffective for 50% of the class, considering this many failed.

    I am really curious though, do you remember what kind of drugs she pulled from the book? Like, completely obscure that most nurses wouldnt know it type of drug?
    800 drugs for a test is a little outrageous if I do say so myself..

    Talk with her, or the head of the nursing department. Let us know!
  7. by   Race Mom
    How long did your class get lectured on the 8 chapters? What were her lectures about if they didn't cover the material in those chapters?
    Woogy
  8. by   hopefully
    Quote from MeghanRN
    hopefully-

    Wow. Our pharm class was always integrated with all of our nursing classes, so i've never had a straight out just pharm course.

    I think that 8 chapters, and no focus isnt really correct. I would recommend talking to the prof. still, and if nothing changes, I would go to your head of the nursing department and just explain to her that you (and hopefully some other students) have tried talking to this teacher and that her teaching methods are ineffective for 50% of the class, considering this many failed.

    I am really curious though, do you remember what kind of drugs she pulled from the book? Like, completely obscure that most nurses wouldnt know it type of drug?
    800 drugs for a test is a little outrageous if I do say so myself..

    Talk with her, or the head of the nursing department. Let us know!
    We got our exams back today There are only 12 people in our pharm class. I talked with about seven people in my class that were approachable. I do not know about the grades of the other five people because I don't communitcate with those students. Out of the seven students I talked with, six failed with below 75% and one passed with 77%. The 77% was the highest.

    I went to the director. And I asked her that maybe the information is not going through because many people failed. She seemed disintereted or maybe irritated at me . I don't know what is going to come of it but I am not hopeful. The pharm instructor had the nerve of saying that the "grades were allright." So maybe this is the end for me. I know her exams are going to be that difficult. I might as well quit now instead of wasting my time, studying for her next exam which is impossible to pass..
  9. by   Daytonite
    Sounds more like a issue of lousy test questions. Make sure you do some debriefing of yourself. See if you can figure out how you went wrong with the questions that you missed. See if you can figure out if it was the way the questions were worded, or was it just information that you didn't know. Some instructors are very sly in the way they word questions, so really look at what you were being asked and what answer choices you were given. Some very slick instructors will put possible answers on a test because they sound "almost" right in order to trick people in to choosing them without paying attention to what the question is actually asking. They do this to see if you are reading and thinking. Just some advice. . .use all the time you are given for a test. If you finish before time is up, go back and re-read the questions, cover the first answer you picked and see if you come up with a different answer the second time around. Another technique is to try to answer multiple choice questions without looking at the answers and then see if the answer is there. Multiple choice and true and false questions can be made misleading very easily by putting key words in them that trigger your brain to assume a fact you weren't given. Hope that might be helpful for you.
  10. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from hopefully
    I failed it. I would be happy if I got above 60%. We need 75% to pass. A lot of students told me and complained to the instructor that they were not prepared and my classmates told me they failed it. It is not like I am dumb and ready to get weeded out as how the new pharm instructor looks at it... In theory, and my other nursing classes I am close to 90%. The new pharmcology instructor is new and quite young, maybe 24 years old and inexperienced in teaching...She told the class at the other school she is teaching at, a lot of people fail...If I fail pharm, I don't continue...
    I had a second semester pharm class like this too with an instructor teaching the class for the first time. More than 50% were failing though........more like 95% of the students were failing. Something had to be done or the whole class would flunk. She started grading on a bell curve. Actually the instructor starting crying in class when we were all complaining about the failure rate! I felt bad for her actually because it was obvious she was not a good teacher in this particular subject!
    Best of luck,
    Lu Ann
  11. by   Tweety
    Sounds like a bad test. Our insturctors would take a test like that and go question by question and throw out the ones that a large number of people missed.

    Pharm is a weed out course, but that sounds dreadful. Good luck.
  12. by   hopefully
    Quote from Tweety
    Sounds like a bad test. Our insturctors would take a test like that and go question by question and throw out the ones that a large number of people missed.

    Pharm is a weed out course, but that sounds dreadful. Good luck.
    Ouch, I am a pharmacy tech. I have an AA degree in Pharmacy Technolgy. I been thru pharm a lot harder than this but the key was an effective instructor. That is missing here. It is not the students. It is the instructor.
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from hopefully
    Ouch, I am a pharmacy tech. I have an AA degree in Pharmacy Technolgy. I been thru pharm a lot harder than this but the key was an effective instructor. That is missing here. It is not the students. It is the instructor.

    Try not to dispair and keep it in perspective. It's only one test. Now that you know how this instructor is, perhaps you can squeeze by and pass the next one, factor in your other grades. Think positive, because the instructor probably isn't going to go away.

    Hopefully, though if there's enough of an uproar there will be curve, throwing out of questions, extra credit next time. One can hope.

    Good luck.
  14. by   RNin2007
    I went through the same thing the semester before I started nursing school (which was spring semester of '05...NS started in june). It was microbiology...and my teacher was very young too and brand new to the school. It was the worst semester of my life. I have a very high GPA and have never failed a test in my life. I got a 67% on the first test, and the class average was 62% (only 3 tests for the whole class grade, so it made us all sweat). She was next to impossible to reason with, and I was so afraid I wouldn't pass the class (without it, I could NOT get into NS). I had nightmares about 5 nights a week...I still to this day get a stomach ache thinking about that whole term! I did nothing but study, study, study because I was determined not to let this woman ruin my future. I knew that book inside out and upside down and she couldn't stop me. Her tests were hell...she did NOT prepare us for them. I was so sick of studying micro I coulda puked out my ears...lol. And my house was pretty much a mess.

    You can and WILL beat her! You did the right thing by going to the director (I did the same thing...head of science dept) and filed a formal complaint on behalf of many students in our class. Let your voice be heard...be very calm and rational when approaching her superiors...they really don't like it when you appear to be "attacking" them. The calmer you are, the further you will get. I ate up every minute of that instructor's office hour every week and met with her supervisor over 5x that term.

    Just to share a small detail...she didn't prepare our cultures right for our lab practicum, so when we all went in to do our final (half of our grade) the entire class could not get ONE SPECIMEN to gram stain. Not a speck. She blamed us all saying we were inadequate...and told us we all failed. Needless to say I walked out of that office and drove to the next town, met up with her supervisor and we found out her mistake that same afternoon. She was going to let the entire class go for the whole weekend thinking they failed. I told her supervisor she needed to make some phone calls...it was her DUTY. There were others in there that needed that class to get into NS as well...they were really upset too. So he told her it was in her best interest to contact the students.

    I got an 89% for my final grade in that class.

    You are doing the right things. You will beat this. You are an A student...don't forget you have what it takes. Think outside of the box...

    ~J

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