A request to help us succeed
Dear Mrs. Antonucci, Mrs. Kane, and Mrs. Pettit,
We are writing you because we are concerned that the recent exams
in cardiac pathophysiology, pharmacology, and management may not accurately
assess our understanding and knowledge of cardiac material. All of us studied intensively, but approximately 40% of our class
failed one or more of these exams. Some of the students who did poorly on
these exams are exemplary students who made the Dean's List last semester.
Somehow, there is a disconnect between our abilities as students and the
results we achieved on these particular exams.
Specifically, we are concerned because:
· In other semesters, cardiac material has been taught over the course of three weeks. Due to rescheduling, this semester the same amount of material was taught in just two weeks.
· Due to the compressed nature of the new class schedule, often there was not enough time to complete the lecture material in class, and students were asked to listen to recorded lectures in place of classroom teaching.
· In a well-intentioned effort to reduce stress, the number of questions on the exams was reduced. The unintentional result was that each exam question is worth a significant amount of our total semester grade. For instance, the pharmacology exam had 20 questions, and is worth 35% of our grade. Each individual examquestion is worth 1.75% of the total semester's grade.
· Some questions on the exams were drawn from material that was presented on handouts, but not covered in class (the question about chewable aspirin)
· Some questions on the exams were drawn from material that students were told would not be included in this semester’s assessments (the question about acute decompensated heart failure)
· Many students studied intensively using the study guides, but felt unprepared when the exam had questions that were not included on the study guides.
We are concerned because we all studied very hard for these exams, spending countless hours at the library reviewing material and studying together. If you sat any of us down and asked us to tell you what we know about cardiac pathophysiology, pharmacology, and management, you would be impressed and satisfied that we had thoroughly learned the material. We are writing you in good faith, because we want to succeed, and we know that you care about our success!
In order to address some of these concerns, we brainstormed some possible approaches to help us rebuild our grades:
· Retest with the original number of questions
· Add questions to each exam to bring the number up to the original amount
· Reduce the cardiac exams to 30% of the total semester grade
· Add an extra credit project or another module
· Remove questions from the exams that were problematic for more than 50% of the class
These are just some possible approaches, and we hope that we can work together to find a way to help all of us succeed.We submit this respectfully.