Letter to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Re: MN30105

  Bath, Monday 25th January 2009

Re: Unit MN30105, Consumer Behaviour Coursework Moderation and Feedback

Dear Dr. Butt Philip,

We are writing to you as the Director of Undergraduate Studies to express our views, as a group, on the moderation of coursework for unit MN30105.

We believe the decision to reduce the marks across the board by 10% in order to bring module results in line with School of Management averages is unacceptable. It should not be taken as out of the ordinary that a skilfully and passionately taught module instilling a high degree of enthusiasm and will to learn amongst students should record high coursework marks in relation to other modules.

We propose several reasons for the high marks recorded by students for module MN30105.

Firstly, all undersigned believe that the high average of the marks is the result of outstanding teaching delivered by the module tutor throughout the course, and a correspondingly high level of enthusiasm shown by all students. This was shown through exceptionally high attendance at lectures despite their taking place between 17.15 and 19.05 on a Tuesday evening. We are confident that this enthusiasm will also be abundantly clear on examination of the collated electronic feedback data submitted for module MN30105.

Secondly, the high marks awarded for the coursework are also almost certain to be the part product of the dedication of a whole two hour lecture to the effective writing of the coursework, which included a thorough analysis of past answers and the marks awarded. This represented a very effective means of conveying to students exactly what was expected of them in order to achieve a certain classification. The provision of such a session is at the module tutor’s discretion, and as such is not automatically included in all School of Management modules. It is thus essential that this be carefully considered when seeking to explain disparities in coursework marks across school of management modules for Semester 1.

Thirdly, the weighting of the coursework totalled 50% of the total marks available for the module, a highly motivating reason for students to dedicate an above average level of care, time and effort to their work. We believe the academic content of module MN30105, whilst engaging, was also very challenging, and when considered alongside the significant weighting of the coursework, this made students determined to work hard.

If the proposed adjustment of 10% is carried out, a number of students’ marks will drop a degree classification. This would render the feedback currently attached to the provisional marks inappropriate. As such we are asking that a new, full feedback form is provided for all students dropping a degree classification. This is vital in ensuring that the student is able to learn fully from the assignment, and that the principles of assignment feedback, and indeed education as a whole, are upheld.

We would also ask that the factors to which we have alluded be taken into consideration for the future moderation of coursework marks, particularly where such dramatic adjustments are made.

Yours sincerely,

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