Change Course Policy: LET US SEE THE ANSWERS to our Exams! (CHEM 400 - Tolopilo)

Change Course Policy: LET US SEE THE ANSWERS to our Exams! (CHEM 400 - Tolopilo)

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James Wilmarth started this petition to Josh Tolopilo, Greg McCormac, and Max Mahoney

As Tolopilo's Fall 2020 Chemistry 400 Class, we think it is only fair that every student with a passing grade in Tolopilo's Chem 400 should receive an end-grade of one whole letter grade above what they earned in the class.

It is absolutely mandatory for Tolopilo's CHEM 400 class (Fall 2020) to be able to view our mistakes and the correct answers on the exams, homework and labs, so that we can see what we got wrong and try to correct our errors which would improve our learning drastically.  One of the biggest parts of the learning process is correcting your mistakes, but if a student is not able to see what they got wrong, they can't improve.  No improvement means no learning, and no learning means no good teaching, and no good teaching means that the teacher sucks (not to be too harsh, but c'mon!).  :)

This petition is not coming from a bunch of noob students who just want an easy A either.  Many of the students in CHEM 400 are also in upper division classes throughout Los Rios such as the Physics 400-series, Calculus 1 through Calculus 3, and Differential Equations.  Trust us, we know how to take science classes and how to do math! (not to mention the math involved in CHEM 400 is barely considered Algebra 2).  A policy such as this one has never been implemented throughout all of the science classes that most of us have taken, (at LRCC and beyond) and for good reason!  This policy is not only ridiculous but detrimental to the well-being of honest students.

As Chemists, Scientists, Engineers and people in the Medical Field, learning to correct your mistakes is one of the most valuable things you can possibly learn, but you cannot do this unless you are able to realize what mistake you made. If you don't know where you messed up, then you could quite possibly make the same mistake again, which depending on your profession (an engineer building a bridge, or a doctor performing a surgery, etc.) could endanger the lives of the people around you. WE NEED TO LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES!!!!!

Not being able to see our mistakes on an exam is like a doctor who screws up during a surgery, but then he does not have to tell the family of the loved one who died, what went wrong.  UNACCEPTABLE!  Not being able to see our mistakes on an exam is like building a bridge that collapses and causes casualties, but the engineers never tells the public what went wrong.  UNACCEPTABLE!  Not being able to see our mistakes on an exam is like a car manufacturing company that sells broken cars, but the customers aren't allowed to know how to fix it.  UNACCEPTABLE!

So why not change the course policy?  Tolopilo's reasoning (in his own words via email) is that the correct answers are not being displayed "to prevent the answers from leaking unscrupulous websites."  To sum it up, Tolopilo does not want us to be able to see our Exams so that he can use the same Exams next semester.... lazy?  If a student really wanted to cheat and display the exam all over the internet and on "unscrupulous websites" then they could simply take videos and pictures of the exam while they are taking it!  Also, Tolopilo tells the class that there is an extremely low chance of anyone getting the same exam, so why is it a problem that we can't see our own exam?

As students, we understand that its hard to teach during COVID-19, but its a lot harder to learn.  You already know the material, and guess what: we don't!  If the great majority of the class (who is legitimately trying and wants to succeed) is not learning and has a grade that is failing, then that means that you're doing a pretty-much awful job at teaching.  Changing this policy will raise the class grades, but unfortunately this policy has already done a lot of damage through the first two-thirds of the semester; this damage so far also needs to be compensated for somehow.

From a professor's standpoint we understand that you do not want any possible way for your students to cheat, which of course makes sense.  You can edit the settings on Canvas and make it so that we are able to view our results and the correct answers after the due date has passed, so there would be no way for anyone to cheat.  After the due date, if we are able to see our results and the correct answers to the problems that we got wrong, the level of understanding for all of your students would go up drastically, guaranteed.

Please allow every student with a passing grade in Tolopilo's Chem 400 to receive an end-grade of one whole letter grade above what they earned in the class.

This petition was started on 11/3/20.

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