Test- Class average 72% - page 2

If the class average of a test is 72%, do you think the instructor should grade on a curve or do something in regards to the score? 76% is passing BTW. Just looking for opinions.... Read More

  1. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from Achoo!
    This is for promotions class, the test was Newborn, L/D, postpartum. Mind you, I got an 85% so I am not talking about myself. I am just curious as others said, if the whole class fails, isn't it part the teachers fault as well for not teaching what we need to know?

    If the WHOLE class failed, I would be suspicious of the instructor. Not saying they are a bad intructor, but maybe the information to be tested on wasn't relayed to the students somehow.
  2. by   WDWpixieRN
    Not that either of you might care what I think, but.....

    I don't believe curving is appropriate for NS either...it's not a true indication of the knowledge or testing skills of the students involved....

    That being said, I totally agree that when the bulk of a class can't pass a test successfully, and knowing the many of the students in that class, I think the onus is back on the instructor....we had a test recently where 3/4 of the class was at or below the "C" level....and we got a lecture from this instructor about how we need to study harder....I take offense on two levels --
    -first, I did study the material (oh, I passed, by the way)
    -second, from comments made in the hall, a lot of the students who DID pass happened to make some lucky guesses (not all, I'm sure)
    How's THAT supposed to show how much more knowledgable they are than the rest of the class?!?!

    Tests aren't always indicative of the knowledge one has learned....particularly when the instructor goes off on some tangent that's not what you were told to concentrate on, while you're trying to learn/read/do 3,000 other new things....I think NS is a combination of repetitive learning/doing, and ability to think fast on your feet -- whether it's knowing where to get the information or how to apply it.

    I have to agree with the OP...
  3. by   BSNtobe2009
    In all of my years of schooling, I had one professor, that was a Clinical Psychologist that had a policy that if 75% of students missed a question it was automatically threw out...you didn't get credit for it, but it was taken out of grade calculation.

    On a proper test, generally...the same number of students that earn A's, should also earn F's, B's and D's also, usually follow at about the same percentage. The majority of your grades will always follow in the C-range.

    If no student, at all, is earning an A, then I agree with the posters that the instructor is to blame...someone, even just one student, will always "get it"...if they don't, then it's either the quality of instruction or the test structure..

    I agree that nursing classes should never be graded on a curve, however, the test can, and should be re-administered in these cases.

    It blows my mind how so many instructors think that if students do poorly, they never look at themselves as even partial blame.
    Last edit by BSNtobe2009 on Oct 5, '06
  4. by   NaomieRN
    72% average is very low for a class average. But if one person gets a 42, that may cause the average to be low. I think the average for my class was a little bit higher than 72, but the passing for my school is 79. The lowest grade was a 56 and a few students got 58s and 60s.
  5. by   Plagueis
    While the class average is 72, that doesn't mean that everyone got that low of a score. I have had tests where the average was in the 60s, but 4 or 5 students scored in the 90s, so the professor never used curves, arguing that if one student could score well, then the others could, too. Most of the college classes I've been in didn't have curves, and that is okay with me. If many in the class didn't do well on an exam, the professor would review the questions and point out what the correct answers should've been, and explain why.
  6. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Maybe it's just me, but the instructor really can't be blamed for a classes failure. There are assigned readings and if students read them, then they would pass. If the assigned reading doesn't help, then get supplemental materials. Then you get busy reading. Read before class and answer the objectives in your syllabus. You will be able to answer them because thay are in the book. If not, look it up on the internet. Then when you get to class, you will focus more on the instructor's clarification of points that are unclear to you rather than trying to write notes. I take notes before class and then I just sit and listen to the lecture and if they say something I missed, then I write it down. After class, I read again briefly.

    Luckily, I understand most concepts, but if I didn't, I'd be in the instructor's office or sending an email pronto.

    I take practice tests via an NCLEX review book and this REALLY helps. I think I amswer 200 questions per test.

    I have never gotten below a B with this strategy and I retain most of what I learn.

    Bottom line, you get out of school what you put into it and even if the professor never taught a thing, I think one can still teach themselves. There are too many resources out there.

    Some students may have test anxiety or other issues and if so, they need to work hard to correct that.

    JMO.
  7. by   Achoo!
    That is a good point about one low score bringing the average way down. The instructor has not addressed it yet.
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Since I am going back to school as an adult student, versus when I started when I was 18...I am looking at things differently.

    College is expensive..very expensive. Colleges, when you enroll, make the promise that they have qualified professors that are SO qualified, that they can teach you what they learn to where you will know the material well enough to function at the course objective level.

    If professors do not do this, then someone is getting a paycheck for doing nothing. How many professions can you get paid for not doing your job and then after a few years, get tenure so you can go the rest of your life and not do your job and never have to worry about being fired?

    I recently changed schools because of this...I had 2 classes that had no textbook and the professor provided very poorly written, self-authored handouts. I had another where we were given only web pages to read..200 pages worth. Another where we had a textbook, but where the professor would not go over the material, and we had an exam every other day.

    I could handle one professor not doing their job in one class, but not 4. All of these classes had a very high, first-time taker failure rate, all were required for nursing, and NONE of these classes were in any way directly related to nursing. This same college wants to know why they are having trouble getting their BSN off the ground, and they cannot even fill the 20 slots that are available each year...it's because the pre-reqs are worthless and wouldn't be good at any other college except for theirs.

    I decided to change schools to one where courses were actually TAUGHT, and Lord knows I am learning so much more.

    A school doesn't get my money unless they earn it.
  9. by   charebec65
    Quote from crnasomeday25
    maybe it's just me, but the instructor really can't be blamed for a classes failure. there are assigned readings and if students read them, then they would pass. if the assigned reading doesn't help, then get supplemental materials. then you get busy reading....

    our instructors always told us "anything in the reading is testable." whether or not it was specifically covered in lecture. in reality, it's impossible to convey everything in a short lecture..... read, read, read...

    luckily, i understand most concepts, but if i didn't, i'd be in the instructor's office or sending an email pronto.

    exactly, if you don't understand something, ask....

    i take practice tests via an nclex review book and this really helps....

    we found that this helped too...

    bottom line, you get out of school what you put into it and even if the professor never taught a thing, i think one can still teach themselves. there are too many resources out there..jmo.
    amen sister..... i don't believe in curving grades in nursing either. if some people can do well it's not a problem with the instructor. i went back to school as a non-traditional student.....age 40 with 5 kids (most gone). i was afraid i wouldn't have the brain power that i had in high school and with my first degree. i did have to study harder than when i was younger but i graduated with about a 3.75 from a full time pn program. i am working on my rn now and doing well.

    i had people in my pn class who barely scraped by with the 78% required to pass, some geniunely trying and others not. one actually looked me straight in the eye and told me that she didn't bother to study....that all she wanted was to get the 78% and pass and didn't care whether she did well. all i could think was "oh my god, what kind of a nurse would she be...... you can't just do the minimum for your patients."
  10. by   Ayvah
    I disagree with the people saying that an instructor shouldn't be held accountable if an entire class fails. Yes, it is possible the entire class isn't studying enough, but, you have to be open to all possibilities and can't dismiss the teacher's influence. Teacher's aren't gods who should be given free passes. Especially with the teacher shortage, the quality of teachers isn't as great as it could be. Here is an example of one day with one of my past instructors

    teacher: "A woman in labor hypoventilates"
    students: "what? don't you mean hyperventilates?"
    teacher: "no, hypOventilates"
    students: "that doesn't make sense, hypoventilate means breathing slow"
    teacher: "well it is hypoventilates, that's what it is"
    students: "on pg x it says hyperventilates"
    teacher: "where?"

    This teacher would routinely get things wrong and we would have to correct her from the book. During class she would ask questions and people would randomly shout out answers, some of them wrong, but they would not be corrected by the teacher. The teacher would point around to students shouting out things and say "uh huh" "uh huh". In this class, 75% of the class routinely failed the tests. After the class was done, of those who passed, one person ended up getting an A, one person got a B and the rest got C's. This is a class full of very intelligent and hard working students and most were scared they would not pass this class. If you get straight A's/high Bs in all other classes and then suddenly are worried about failing a class, there is probably something wrong with the class. It is the teacher's job to teach the material. That's what they are getting paid to do. If they are not doing their job well then a review needs to be done of that teacher's methods.
    Last edit by Ayvah on Oct 6, '06
  11. by   nurse4theplanet
    If you have a grievance with an instructor, speak with the other students in the class about how they feel as well. Write out your concerns and delegate a spokesperson to speak to the instructor on the class's behalf...like the class president. Be polite and respectful, making the method/clarity of instruction the issue, not the teacher's personality! Hopefully, you will see some results.

    However, just because the class average is a 72, does not mean the instructor is to blame. It is an AVERAGE of all scores...and it only takes a few low scores to bring down the average as a whole. If you are blaming the instructor for your own shortcomings you are doing a disservice to yourself. Don't enable other classmates who had poor study habits to do this as well.
  12. by   charebec65
    I don't think that anyone that has responded thinks that a teacher shouldn't be held responsible if the whole class fails. If everyone fails, there is a problem. What people are here seem to be talking about is when the average is low but there are still people doing well. Teachers are not perfect. I've had my share of ones that I didn't think were good teachers but regardless, I did well, because I took responsibility for my education and studied. In my graduating class there were several of us that did quite well. However, there were those that barely passed the program. If you averaged all those together, I'm sure our average as a whole probably wasn't that good. It doesn't take that many poor grades to bring down the average.

    You can't really compare the core nursing classes to classes like A&P, history, etc. Those courses are concrete. Nursing is a whole new way of thinking and a lot of people struggle with it.
  13. by   NaomieRN
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    Maybe it's just me, but the instructor really can't be blamed for a classes failure. There are assigned readings and if students read them, then they would pass. If the assigned reading doesn't help, then get supplemental materials. Then you get busy reading. Read before class and answer the objectives in your syllabus. You will be able to answer them because thay are in the book. If not, look it up on the internet. Then when you get to class, you will focus more on the instructor's clarification of points that are unclear to you rather than trying to write notes. I take notes before class and then I just sit and listen to the lecture and if they say something I missed, then I write it down. After class, I read again briefly.

    Luckily, I understand most concepts, but if I didn't, I'd be in the instructor's office or sending an email pronto.

    I take practice tests via an NCLEX review book and this REALLY helps. I think I amswer 200 questions per test.

    I have never gotten below a B with this strategy and I retain most of what I learn.

    Bottom line, you get out of school what you put into it and even if the professor never taught a thing, I think one can still teach themselves. There are too many resources out there.

    Some students may have test anxiety or other issues and if so, they need to work hard to correct that.

    JMO.
    Yes an instructor can be blamed if more than half of the class failed. The instructor is getting pay to teach. I know some students should be held responsible too for not taking the extra step to read and spend time to study. Last semester, 23 students failed Marternity because of a new instructor who had no business teaching. She was fired after numberous complaints about her disorganization skills.
    You have to remember also, there are many nursing students who were in other field, they may not be able to grasp the information like you.
    A good instructor can also lessen anxiety.

    I usually read all the chapters that are required, but I like to get a better understanding from the instructor using examples that I can relate to. Some student learn better when they can hear the information, like myself, that is why I always tape the lecture.

    The test is proof the material has been learned. If too many people failed, it means no one learned.

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