York U PSYC 2022 Section N: Unfair Midterm Exam, Change is Needed

York U PSYC 2022 Section N: Unfair Midterm Exam, Change is Needed

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Emilio Arangio started this petition to York University and

Instead of explaining the entire situation again, I have provided the email that I had sent the other psychology department (if you agree with any part of my complaint, or if something that I mentioned happened to me also happened to you, please sign).

But, what isn't mentioned in the email is the poor behaviour on Dr. Kopinska's part. Not addressing this issue with me privately, accusing students of things simply based on assumptions and private messaging me during class rather than outside class time, makes her behaviour rude and unprofessional. 

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Good afternoon,

I am writing to bring to your attention a concerning exam format that Dr. Kospinska has assigned to us for our midterm on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The exam consisted of 32 multiple-choice questions and 5 short answer questions (weighting 50% of the exam grade for the multiple-choice and 50% for the short answer), with a 2.6-hour time limit (which I and many other students think is a suboptimal timeframe given the restrictions that were put in place). The restrictions and requirements that were put in place for the exam included not being able to return to previous questions after advancing to the next one and needing to upload a photo of the computations for the short answer questions (Which is a very inconsistent process when it comes to time management).


Additionally, many students had technical issues during the exam that consisted of the exam ending prematurely, internet issues and other issues that prevented the students from getting their full time during the exam. Dr. Kospinska has responded to our concerns at the beginning of the last lecture, the response left me concerned with the future of the course since she has decided to keep the same exam format for the final exam. A video is attached of the lecture recording of her response to the class, she begins the discussion right at the beginning and continues with the regular lecture afterwards.


To address some topics in her discussion, she explains how the average of the class is relatively good and those who are doing poorly are personally at fault. I would like to bring to light that she did not give us our exam grades until the day of the drop deadline (without claiming a grade) and there are screenshots of a course announcement for proof; she uses the class average as evidence that the exam was fair and that there is a normal bell curve when she showed us a graph of the class's performance on the exam. I believe that because the students were not given even an entire day to decide whether to drop the class since the midterm grades were posted that night of the drop deadline, I think most of the students with poor grades immediately dropped the course once they got their exam grade since they only had a few hours to drop the course without receiving a grade; this makes me believe that the course average looks normal due to the reduction in students attending the class. Another part of the video that I would like to discuss is when she promises to raise everyone's grade by 2% to give the one person with 98% a chance to "master" statistics; this leaves me confused as to if she would give us that accommodation if there wasn't a student that had gotten such a high grade.


I had made an e-class discussion post addressing my concerns before the lecture and many of my classmates who agreed with me have replied to the post as well (screenshot attached).

 

I should also mention that I have been doing exceptionally well in the course when combining the weekly assignments, Mindtap modules and Iclicker questions during the lectures. That being said, I find it confusing that I have proven my knowledge enough to get 80-90% on everything else, but fall extremely short on the midterm.


I also have a concern with how the TAs marked the exam (on top of the restrictions and complications during the exam that could have unfairly affected the final mark). For my exam specifically, Arjun did give feedback saying if I had made any errors, but they were not very detailed; moreover, Mark did not provide helpful, critical feedback for questions 34, 35 and 36. Question 34, I had gotten full marks and the feedback was only to tell me that I had gotten full marks. All of the questions that Marked was responsible for had prewritten responses to automatically display as feedback, regardless of if the student was correct; question 36, specifically, Mark had simply uploaded a PDF of the answers to that question (the PDF and screenshots of the questions and feedback are attached). In question 35, Mark's premade feedback reads very similarly to my response, I did not complete the second part of the question, but I clearly deserve the 2.5 part marks for answering the first part correctly, rather than a 0 (screenshot attached).


It is important to note that the 50-50 weighting can place an unfair evaluation of a student's knowledge since I, personally, got 24/32 of the multiple-choice correct and got 0 marks for two or three short answers when I clearly deserve part marks (I have attached screenshots of the questions and my answers that I am referring to). Even though I did relatively well on the multiple-choice, the restrictions and other issues during the exam left little time to complete the short answers and I was forced to leave some answers half-done (because I was not allowed to return to previous questions and needed time to upload a photo of my computation) and move on to other questions to at least get part marks in the end (which I didn't get).


As for action that I would like to take place, I would like someone to reevaluate the format of the exam with the time limit, restrictions, and technical issues that were previously mentioned being kept in mind. I would also like to ensure that the final exam does not replicate the format of the midterm. If any accommodations can be made for the midterm to accommodate for the issues previously mentioned, that would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email, please let me know if you need any further information and if you are having any trouble downloading the file from the google drive link.


All the best,
Emilio Arangio

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