Assignment failure

(14 Posts)
Zepherial Sun 05-Jul-15 12:40:27

I am near the end of my first year of a teaching degree and although for the past 3 years my assignments have reached 60% and above I have just failed my latest assignment.

For this particular assignment the university changed the question, so it was a never before used question with nothing to compare to. I have a small cohort with just 26 students, 7 of us failed.

One even failed after giving the assignment brief to student support and having their assignment read through.

We asked numerous times for help with this assignment, what the question actually wanted, what should and should not be included. I understand they cannot give answers however there was no guidance.

To top it off they send those who failed a message during our placement. Meaning I spent time in bits trying to pull myself together for my observation.

I have a meeting with the marking tutor but from experience know that the uni close ranks over marking and feedback is sparodic. I have re read my essay and can see that I made some really stupid errors regarding proof reading. ( no excuse but I have building working in my home, I work and have 3 children)

I know my work was obviously not good enough but I am desperate for help and have no one to proof read and help me. Student support cannot give me an appointment till September!

So here I am begging for someone to help me.

LaVolcan Sun 05-Jul-15 22:44:20

What exactly are you asking MN to do though?

FadedRed Sun 05-Jul-15 22:49:22

Are you friendly with any second or third years who might be able to give an opinion on your assignment so you can start your rewrite over the summer?

Kez100 Mon 06-Jul-15 05:59:06

I'm confused about how previous questions had been.used before so you could compare. Did you get to see exemplar answers to earlier questions which made it easier to answer? If so, then maybe that wasn't helpful because it gave a false sense of security .

Also this is first year degree whereas you other three years wirk would have been from a different course, perhaps? So they are perhaps less likely to be directly comparable .

callamia Mon 06-Jul-15 06:10:45

If you think that the assignment was managed badly, then make a complaint via your student rep or similar. The fact that 7/26 failed is a bit worrying, but nearly 3/4 of the class DID pass, so clearly some people got it.

It is important to get useful feedback. You could request an appointment to meet with a tutor and go through why you failed (doesn't need to be the person who set it, do you have a personal tutor?)

chaiselounger Mon 06-Jul-15 07:12:47

I too worry that 3/4 did pass, so that doesn't support your case.

TheoriginalLEM Mon 06-Jul-15 07:21:35

how much weight does this assignment carry? i don't know about teaching degrees but we simply had to pass the first year to carry on with the degree and the mark didn't get carried over. If that's the case for you and you received 60% in other assignments id not waste too much emotional energy on it. Yes id complain but id not put too much time or effort. I had failed assignments and still left with a 2:1. Very often it depended on who was marking the work too.

of course it may be different for your degree.

IssyStark Mon 06-Jul-15 07:48:19

You are at the end of your first year, you should get used to working independently without relying on basing your work on examples from the past.

However that doesn't mean you don't have a justifiable compliant about lack of support/answers. But I would caution that you may well have had as much if not more help than your fellow students and your lecturer decided any more would be unfair.

Also Student Support is not there to mark your paper. If they are like most student support services they can check form and structure but they cannot advise on choice of references or analysis of material. A failing paper can be well structured but if the content isn't up to scratch there is little they can do.

As for your compliant that you had the marks sent to you by email when on placement, what do you want? Timely feedback of results, or more more sporadic of which you've also complained.

Your meeting with the marking tutor should give you decent feedback if you go into it with an attitude that you want to learn from the experience and get better rather than with a litany of moans about how it wasn't fair. If you came to me with what you said in your OP, I would give you polite but short shrift.

Good luck and I hope you get some useful feedback smile

Zepherial Tue 07-Jul-15 20:23:47

Sorry i thought no one was going to reply.

I have an appointment for September and will see what is said then. This is my third assignment this year.

I did say I saw proof reading errors, I have no reason to complain I obviously did something wrong.

Marking is always punctual, however I still think the timing for this could have been better. A few days would have made all the difference.

I just wanted to moan as I was upset, not sure what else I wanted.

Maybe someone would magically appear and say they could proof read essays.....

lougle Tue 07-Jul-15 20:30:09

Have you had written comments or simply a mark? How badly have you failed? When is your resubmission deadline?

Zepherial Tue 07-Jul-15 20:40:11

I have had 3 lines of comments, I am not making a judgement there I know they have huge amounts of marking. It's just not feedback that enables me to improve. I failed by under 5 marks, in the scheme of things that's quite a lot I suppose.

Zepherial Tue 07-Jul-15 20:43:51

I am not going in all guns blazing I just want to get the best possible outcome from my meeting that means I will pass next time. Failure is not an option in this course. I have no idea when re submission is.

lougle Tue 07-Jul-15 22:09:22

There are only three ways to fail (broadly):
-You didn't do what the question asked of you.
-You did what it asked but not well enough
-You demonstrated unsafe practice/poor ethics/cheated.

LaVolcan Tue 07-Jul-15 22:49:06

One simple suggestion is that when you have done an assignment, put it aside for a couple of days and then go back and re-read it. It's surprising what mistakes you can pick up - not just typos, but where ideas don't flow, but at the time you were writing the essay they seemed to.

Is there any general feedback offered e.g. of the sort "most students pointed out.... but some failed to distinguish...". As I think someone else has already said, make sure that you read the question and answer it (and not the question you would have liked them to ask).

Look out for silly errors - going over a strict word limit and not referencing correctly are two common ones, and they just lead to marks being thrown away.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now