Now I know why nobody ever gets a 4.0 at my school ... - page 3

I was looking through a syllabus for one of my classes (worth 900 points total). This is the grading scale A = 899.07-900 points A- = 810-899.06 points B+ = 787.5-809.99 points B =... Read More

  1. Visit  SummitRN profile page
    0
    Grading according to a syllabus, which vary by class and instructor, with the ability to drop and refund, switch sections, or withdraw is a false comparison to the situation we discussed. A school and professor offer a course and grade system up front, and the student takes it or leaves it. Arbitrarily changing grades of completed classes denies opportunity to exit; it is like delivering a new syllabus when the final exam is handed in; it is changing a contract where both parties already completed their obligations! So it follows: if changing grades ex post facto is alright with the associated consequences of reduced competiveness of the student as an applicant to schools, jobs, and scholarships, then so is the natural progression of retroactively failing students and revoking degrees after they are granted. That the school did not follow such a progression is arbitrary enforcement resulting from a recognition by the school that they increase their risk of lawsuits.
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  3. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    1
    Quote from psu_213
    I certainly agree it should be hard; however, I think this grading scale is a bit ridiculous.

    Do you want you mother's nurse to make an error in basic nursing practice? Of course not. At that same time, you are not going to demand every GN to get a 100% on the NCLEX to pass.
    Actually, since you mention it, she's had some pretty good and some pretty lousy nursing care lately ... but to my knowledge, nobody has given her a 1000x overdose on IV heparin. Though somebody did think it was a great idea to give her prn tramadol (a synthetic opioid) on a TID schedule and didn't seem to notice she was sleeping 20 hours per day and woozy the other four.

    I associate "basic nursing care" with CNA care, because it's, well, basic. I would expect that an RN would look at a nearly somnolent, opioid-naive, 97-lb 86-year-old and think, Hmmmm, maybe that's a lot of stuff. Slightly higher level of practice. Like what you should achieve in a pharmacology course. If you want to kill people you can do it a lot faster and more dramatically, generally speaking, with a pharmacology error than pretty much anything else short of turning off their ventilators or throwing them down the stairs.

    Pharmacology-- yep, 90-100% is my minimum. YMMV.
    Nurse2BeInGA likes this.
  4. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from GrnTea
    Pharmacology-- yep, 90-100% is my minimum. YMMV.
    I totally agree with a tough grading standard, and we should demand excellence....I'm just saying that it is a bit silly to say that the only way that you can get an A is not to miss a single question!
  5. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from SummitRN
    it is changing a contract where both parties already completed their obligations!
    It is interesting that you use the word "contract." When I was in nursing school, at the end of every syllabus was the sentence "This syllabus is not a contract between the school and the student. It is merely meant as a guide for the student." I always found that statement curious and, well, not being a lawyer, I'm not sure what the implications of such a statement would be in a legal proceeding, if indeed there were a major change in a policy from what was presented in the syllabus (say a change in grading scale, change in attendance policy, etc.). If it is not recognized as a contract by the course, I would think it means a lack of recourse (in a legal sense anyway) for an affected student.
  6. Visit  Nurse2BeInGA profile page
    0
    Quote from psu_213
    It is interesting that you use the word "contract." When I was in nursing school, at the end of every syllabus was the sentence "This syllabus is not a contract between the school and the student. It is merely meant as a guide for the student." I always found that statement curious and, well, not being a lawyer, I'm not sure what the implications of such a statement would be in a legal proceeding, if indeed there were a major change in a policy from what was presented in the syllabus (say a change in grading scale, change in attendance policy, etc.). If it is not recognized as a contract by the course, I would think it means a lack of recourse (in a legal sense anyway) for an affected student.
    I would take that to mean that school and teacher policies could change (legally) during the semester and the syllabus may not be a binding document throughout the semester in that case. For example, if the professor changed dates for exams or moved around the order of content being taught as presented on the syllabus, that would not be a big deal, but it would not be in line with what was on the syllabus. Additionally, usually colleges vote on major changes between terms, but if something pertaining to policy (grading, attendance, etc.) was changed mid-semester, that would be void on the syllabus. Having worked in public schools, one thing over the last few years we had to add to our syllabi and other published documents was an equal opportunity and non-discriminatory statement. I am sure this is something similar.
  7. Visit  SummitRN profile page
    0
    I've been to a lot of colleges. I teach at one (not nursing). It is Atypical for a syllabus NOT to be treated like a contract. Violations of the syllabus are typically what is required for a successful grade appeal ("unfairness" is rarely successful). Where I teach, we treat them like a contract along with the student policy manual and faculty policy manual. Usually a syllabus has a line saying in effect "schedule subject to change."
    Last edit by SummitRN on May 10, '13
  8. Visit  AOx1 profile page
    1
    The criteria for an A is ridiculous, and will only hurt those applying to graduate school.
    SopranoKris likes this.
  9. Visit  SopranoKris profile page
    0
    Yes, I agree...90% is the minimum error that should be acceptable for med dosaging. I always think "hmmm, don't want to kill 10% of my patients, so I'd better be 100% sure of my math!!!"

    However, OP's issue was that to get a 4.0 in her program, the grading scale for an A was 899.3 to 900. That's less than a point deduction to get a 4.0. Less than 899.3 is a 3.5. I do think that it's a ridiculous grading scale. It's setting up good students to fail to achieve an A. It will also lower your GPA to get the 3.5, which can have an impact on getting in to a graduate program down the road.

    I took Pharm last semester and I aced my med math and was able to pull off a 95% in Pharm lecture, so ended up with an overall 4.0 for the class. No rounding, no extra credit, no make-up assignments, etc. I worked my tail off to earn that grade.

    I think having a grading scale that's next to impossible to earn a 4.0 means that you can't really compare students from one Pharm course at a particular school to another. It's comparing apples to oranges, so to speak. I also think it demoralizes students. No, I don't think everyone should get extra credit and spoon-fed information so we all get an A. But for students who work hard and put in the effort, I think grading scales should be somewhat consistent. Setting an impossibly high bar of less than 1 point for an A isn't very fair. It's like telling the students up front "you'll never get an A in this course".
  10. Visit  akulahawkRN profile page
    0
    Stuff like that is also why students should also keep their syllabus. Should there be any question about a grade, they can show what the grading policy was during the course.
  11. Visit  bonjournurse2b profile page
    0
    FYI guys, I ended up with a B in the class. I know this is an off-topic question ... but this was my second time taking the class. I definitely have plans to go to grad school. I always assumed that they want to see A's if you retake a class. Is this going to look bad for me?

    Relating back to the topic though, my friend ended up with a 95% overall and received an A-. What the heck? A 95 is EXCEPTIONAL! I feel for her :\
  12. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from bonjournurse
    FYI guys, I ended up with a B in the class. I know this is an off-topic question ... but this was my second time taking the class. I definitely have plans to go to grad school. I always assumed that they want to see A's if you retake a class. Is this going to look bad for me?

    Relating back to the topic though, my friend ended up with a 95% overall and received an A-. What the heck? A 95 is EXCEPTIONAL! I feel for her :\
    I think graduate schools are going to look at the body of work, moreso than the grade in one class. If you have a good overall GPA, in my mind, one less than perfect grade should not hurt you too much.

    Take this with a grain of salt though...this was just personal opinion, and I really don't know for what individual school/admissions officer is looking.


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