Consistency across a school's faculty

  1. I recently began my MSN in education program. For the first several classes, the instructors' grading, comments, and expectations were for the most part very consistent. Then I started my current class. Things I've been doing for the last several semesters that were never commented on are now being done incorrectly (especially APA formatting), grading is different (much harsher, not that I expected good grades to just be handed to me if they weren't earned), and comments for why/how things are graded are non-existent (and unhelpful when they are given). My undergrad experience was that across the program, faculty were consistent except for minor differences.

    Do the schools you work for expect/encourage consistency? I understand that no two instructors will ever be the same, but believe that schools should have certain standards for grading (ie, APA formatting/grammar/spelling) that all instructors should have to comply with. When I start teaching my own classes, I don't want to be the odd one out when it comes to consistency between faculty.
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   ProfRN4
    Sadly, I don't see a whole lot of consistency where I teach. There are many who feel it is important, and try very hard to get others on board. But there are always the ones who do not feel they have to. Those who don't feel that under the "academic freedom" clause, that they don't have to. Part of me feels like I should run my class/clinical how I want to. There are some things that I feel are more important than other things. but i feel like in nursing, it is very important. Students expect it, and are very vocal about it when we lack constancy. In my program, we team teach. So it's never truly "my class". Even if I taught the whole class, there are multiple clinical instructors, so this makes it very hard to be consistent, and even worse when we are not
  4. by   llg
    One of the hallmarks of higher education is academic freedom -- freedom for the professor to teach as he or she sees fit. Enforced conformity is seen as a danger to society in that it stifles those whose ideas are ahead of their and/or so brilliant that others are intimimdated or threatened by them. Forcing teachers to do things in strictly prescribed ways is seen as a form of tyrany that is to be avoided --even at great costs. Without academic freedom, progress would be doomed.

    At the graduate level, students are expected to be sophisticated enough in their thinking to be able to deal with a world in which "all of the experts do not agree." That's part of the excitement and fun of graduate school (as opposed to undergrad.) Students go beyond learning the concensus that passes for knowledge ... and enter the real scholarly world in which the experts debate the issues and push the boundaries of knowledge outward ... the realm in which knowledge is formed and not already established for certain.

    The frustrations caused by the inconsistencies in thought are a small price to pay for the intellectual freedom to disagree.