Everybody in the academic world at times are frustrated when assessing students work. I look at tests/exams and I wonder whether the student even listened in class (assuming I remember seeing him/her there, otherwise its rather self-explanatory isn’t it?). Having (mostly) marked exams for the last day and a half I am frustrated… in fact I am disturbed by some of the trends.
Possibly the trend that irritates me most is the act of senseless paraphrasing. So the Lifecycle stage is called “Service Operation”, a brief explanation is then “deals with operations of services…” Duh? The idea of an explanation is to explain something non-obvious… to add a bit of value, show a tid-bit of insight/understanding. Unfortunately paraphrasing one fact in 3 different ways only leave one fact… Then again if you don’t know what is involved in “the operation of a service” that could be difficult writing something more sensible, but then, why waste your time (and mine) with something clearly non value-adding.
I am also amazed at the number of questions that are left blank after the importance of the work was stressed in class numerous times. I sometimes make remarks in class that “this has got test / exam question written all over it” – apparently that’s an indication that I will definitely not ask about it (at least for a significant portion of the class, judging by the number of non-attempts at answering the question!) Somebody please explain this to me… I don’t follow!
Of course occasionally there is the student who realise that he/she does not know and still has a sense of humor about it. This exam (luckily) was no different. As a starter and to “break the ice” I wanted my students to understand the ITIL perspective on value, and being nice I asked them to complete a sentence (in a diagram) to me: “VALUE = _________ + _________, which means it is fit for __________ and __________ .” of course the correct answer is “VALUE = UTILITY + WARRANTY, which means it is fit for PURPOSE and fit for USE”. I am glad to report that most got that, except one who could not remember the second part. His answer: “…, which means it is fit for KINGS and QUEENS”. 🙂 No marks there, but I (sadly) did enjoy the interlude.
Which makes me think of a couple of years back when somebody who did not make it wrote at the end of the paper (in Afrikaans, but I’ll translate):
Please Read 2 John 12.
So I did. It said: “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, …”
He did, we saw for another year face-to-face, but after the second time round he apparently decided pen and paper is probably a better idea…
Please share your exam smiles with me by leaving a comment below.