High test scores spark investigation

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By Suleman Din

Midterm test results of two second-year AIM classes are being investigated by the department’s director after students achieved higher-than-average marks.

The two classes being looked at are Information Systems Planning and Development (AIM 236), taught by Carole Chauncey, and Local Area Network Technology (AIM 200), taught by Frances Prychidny.

Past midterms of Prychidny’s class are available in the exam bank at CopyRite, but this is not the case for Chauncey’s class. Some students taking her course this term got a hold of the midterm written by students who had taken the class in the fall.

Last semester, Chauncey let students look at their midterms. She asked for the tests back, but a few students kept their copies. This semester’s midterm, a multiple choice of 60 questions, turned out to be identical.

AIM’s director Kenneth Grandt said an investigation into the two incidents is underway and he would be holding a meeting with staff to discuss the “security integrity of our material.”

The midterm marks in Chauncey’s class hit the roof. Six students got 100 per cent and 30 students received scores over 90. An estimated 84 per cent of the class received a mark above 80 per cent on their midterm. The lowest mark was a 57 per cent.

“She didn’t even know what was happening,” said a student in Chauncey’s class this term. “She came into class a day after the marks were posted and said, “I think I know why the marks were so high, it seems that the test was available beforehand.’”

The student wished to remain anonymous because he said he doesn’t want to “jeopardize future courses over this.” He said he scored in the high 90s on the midterm, using the first semester test as a “study guide.”

Fourteen AIM students gathered in Oakham House last Friday to vent their frustration in a meeting that Ethan Zon, RyeSAC’s course union and student group commissioner and a third-year AIM student, organized.

After the meeting, Zon said the students shouldn’t be blamed because Chauncey’s first-term class were given the tests back and students didn’t know this term’s midterm would be exactly the same. Zon said it should be mandatory for professors to change their tests every term.

“Professors should be posting marks on the wall and not handing out tests,” he said. “If people want to see their tests, they should arrange an interview with their professor.”

Grant said changes are in the works for a new departmental policy to ensure this incident doesn’t happen again. Grant said he plans to meet with students to discuss what the department will do about the tainted tests. Some options that may be considered are rewriting the midterm, dropping the test and increasing the course’s final exam weight to 70 per cent and leaving the marks.

Grant said he is aware that some students who legitimately got high scores would be affected by a decision to drop the test or have a rewrite. “This is an unfair and unfortunate situation… but there’s no Solomon-like answer to this.”

Grant wouldn’t confirm or deny whether the department will be taking disciplinary action against the professors. Chauncey would not comment on the investigation.

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