DW Exam Complaint
To whom it may concern,
I am filing an official complaint regarding the ordinary Data Warehousing exam on behalf of myself and my fellow students listed below. The complaint is for a re-evaluation of the exam and sounds as follows:
We request a re-evaluation from a third-party of the ordinary Data Warehousing exam course number 460152U012, with exam completed 15/12/2017 12:00 and exam evaluation published 12/01/2018.
This request stems from the possibility of a biased evaluation from internal examiner Mads Carsten Brink Hansen. The following points elaborate on this possible bias.
Events during semester
During the semester there has been a miss-match between Mads as lecturer and the students attending the course. Mads has been frustrated due to his expectation of participation which was not met by the students. The 5 ECTS course curriculum consists of 1.243 pages. For reference, our 10 ECTS course, IS Development in a Business Context curriculum consists of 780 pages. I will provide documentation for these statements below.
The students felt that Mads was unprepared and unstructured in his teaching methods, against him forcing students to do presentations and not using PowerPoint slides. An instance also occurred where Mads stopped the lecture after 40 minutes since he felt lack of commitment from the students.
This resulted in very negative course feedback by the students, which Mads in turn received poorly. The students felt uncomfortable during the evaluation, and felt that Mads openly blamed the students for the poor performance.
This leads us the exam case, which I will attach below. One could interpret the exam case as being a passive aggressive insult towards us as students since its focus is about and I quote: “students not being properly prepared” and “low class room activity” and “how to provide better quality candidates for future employers and society”.
This resulted an exam with the mean grade of 3,5. The difference between last year’s mean of 6,4 and this year’s mean of 3,5 is critical to put it lightly. I contacted the Business Intelligence course coordinator Hans Jørn who recommended me that I asked Mads for an indicative solution to the exam to ease the frustration of my fellow students. After I asked for the indicative solution, Mads’ replied with the same attitude as mentioned previously. Instead he offered a feedback lesson at 19-01-2018 13:00-14:00. I will elaborate on the lesson next.
I need to clarify that the following statements are based on my notations during the lecture and may not be exact and may be slightly out of order, however the people attending the feedback lesson can testify to the following statements being true. An audio file can be provided if necessary.
Mads began the lecture by saying that he had some general statements before reviewing the exam itself. Mads said the following:
“The word, evaluate is included in every question. We’re using blooms taxonomy, evaluate is high on the list. Next year we’re explaining to students what it means to be at a master level”
Afterwards Mads said the following:
“I have nothing against you, I have no reason to fail you, I’ve heard that your complaining, that’s not the right way to handle it. The university expect you to work much harder than you’ve done. You may as well have stayed home. You should be here 40-50 hours a week, if you’re not prepared to do this, maybe you’re not in the right place. You have to look in the mirror and think is this what I really want. This year I’ve had pleasure of telling you this, or rather I’m pissed. You could all complain, but that’s a not good idea.”
After saying the above Mads proceeded to go through exam.
After Mads finished the walk-through of the exam he proceeded to state the following:
“I’m to blame to for not explaining blooms taxonomy to you guys. I have no reason for not giving you the highest possible grade, you have got the highest possible grade. Knowing a model is one thing, applying it to a Case is another. If you haven’t participated in the classes, you won’t be able to read up and do the examination. You can’t just use bachelor ways, we’re at a masters. We are raising the bar. Give it a thought during the weekend. I would like to mention that the case of students of Malmö were in no way shape or form to insult you, it was to help you since it was in your area of expertise. “
Afterwards a Q & A session began.
Student: Can we differ that much from last year?
Mads: Classes are different, the attitude can be different.
Student: Do you believe that you’ve been an unbiased examiner?
Mads: Sure, my job is trying to give you the best grade available. It’s not my learning, it’s your learning and that should take place inside yourself.
Student: “I’ve used all the models, and argued for everything according to your feedback guidelines and I’m still unsatisfied with my grade”
Mads: “That’s shitty, nothing you can do about it, try to read more”.
Student : “How many pages do you expect from a 3 hour exam? “
Mads: “About 15 pages. Somewhere about 12-18 pages.”
After the Q & A the time was up and as people were leaving Mads yelled to the class:
“Think that we’re at a scientific level!”
This all culminates into what has felt like an overall bad experience and a biased examination. To clarify, our complaint is not founded upon the difficulty of the exam, but the grade given in the exam, due to Mads’ biased opinion. No one is question Mads’ knowledge in the course, but everything else such as explaining the material, structure, professionalism, ethics etc. has been disastrous.
I would like to thank BI course coordinator Hans Jørn Juhl and master course coordinator Thomas Pedersen for their advice regarding the conflict.