Political Ecology 3
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Dear Martyn, Robert and Ann
Thank you for your emails, we understand that you are doing your best to rectify the controversy regarding the pass / fail vs. 21 point scheme marking. We fully appreciate that staff have our best intentions in mind however feel that this is beside the point. I am writing this message on behalf of all of all Political Ecology students and have outlined our primary concerns below.
The general consensus is that Ann has structured a challenging, intellectually stimulating and creative course which everyone has enjoyed and thus our objections are not related to the structure or teaching of the course. However, having discussed the issue extensively with all students on the course we raise issue with your decision to retrospectively change the marking criteria.
1) The assignments for the course were clearly laid out and discussed at the beginning of the course. It was clear in everyone's mind how each different assignment was to be graded, including the pass / fail criteria for the intellectual blogs (worth 15%).
2) Whilst we appreciate that department policy exists for good reason, changing to a 21 mark scheme after we have submitted our work is completely unjust. Our approach was undoubtedly catered to the pass / fail criteria as set out at the beginning.
3) If there had been a 21 point scale in place from the beginning then we would have altered our approach accordingly. Furthermore it is widely considered that a 21 point scale for each individual blog would have represented an unrealistic workload, given our other units.
4) Retrospectively changing it undermines the work we have undertaken. We struggle to comprehend how one of our final year courses could be cleared only to have the grading criteria changed after already receiving our marks. This is a mistake made by the geography department only, even if there was a misunderstanding within the department we fail to see why students should be disadvantaged by this.
5) This course has already taken up a disproportionate part of our time and any additional work goes beyond the initial expectations of a 20 credit unit.
We therefore see no room for compromise and believe the marking criteria should remain the same as outlined by the university from the outset of our course. Furthermore we urge that the issue is resolved as quickly as possible as we are all under extensive pressure. This situation is an unwelcome distraction.