Walden PMHNP weight grading policy
Hello leadership, I am writing this petition to request a change in the weighting of exams in the PMHNP program. I realize each course is different, but the last few courses (including 6660 & 6770) place a disproportionate amount of weight on the 2 exams in the course (midterm and final). Some students in 6670, myself included, reached out to leadership after the midterms and ultimately we received a curved grade weeks later. However, there was no explanation as to how the number of points added was determined and the amount varied greatly amongst sections of the course. Students in 6670 reported a range of 2 to 10 points being added to their midterm scores after analyzation. We all appreciate the analyzation and addition of points, but it is not enough.
I'll use myself as an example... I have received a 100% on all but 2 of my assignments in 6670. On these other two assignments I received a 99% and a 92%. After the midterm, my average has dropped to a 75%. This means that students can perform almost perfectly on every single assignment in a course, but still fail as a result of the 2 exams. This does not motivate students to do well or to even participate in the courses. In addition to the aforementioned, there are several other reasons that we feel the weighted grading policy is unfair...
1. We are not able to see which questions we missed or an explanation as to what the correct answer was. I know this has been brought up to leadership and has been justified by saying that this is how the ANCC boards are as well. The issue is that Walden should be prepping us for boards, not depriving us of useful information that could help to prepare us.
2. We are unable to go back and change answers to questions once we move on to the next.
3. Those of us who are already prepping for boards have been taking practice exams from various organizations, including Fitzgerald Health Associates, Barkley, and the actual ANCC organization. We are all consistently performing much better on these exams than on those utilized at Walden. The same goes for those of us in courses that utilize Board Vitals. My 6670 instructor actually told our class that the boards are easier than Board Vitals. If we can perform adequately on these exams that are directly geared towards passing boards, then we should be able to perform well on Walden's exams.
4. We are aware that leadership is discussing lowering the weigh of exams for future students. This has been voiced by at least one 6670 clinical instructor. Policies are changed for a reason (or should be) and we deserve to reap the benefits of this as well.
5. Study guides for these courses are inappropriately broad. Yes, we realize that we need to know everything, but school is also about guidance. It doesn't help that we have no recorded lectures like most other programs.
6. We have tried your recommendations. We have reached out to our instructors for advice on how and what to study. We have reached out to leadership.
The bottom line is that when the large majority of students perform poorly on an exam, that has some reflection on the instruction or the quality of the exam itself. This is especially true when those same students perform well on other standardized exams and on course assignments. We am aware that some leadership has claimed that former students thank them and state the exams prepared well. We are aware that Walden has a great pass rate within the PMHNP programs for the ANCC boards. We are also aware that several students are required to retake courses in the program, providing Walden with additional funding. My 6670 instructor told us that some students are repeating the course and from this announcement, we could gather that it was most likely due to exams, as they were trying to use the same assignments (meaning they must have done well on them previously). One or two exams should not warrant repeating a term, spending thousands of extra dollars, losing more wages, and/or delaying licensure.