For my major, I’m required to take Computer Science 101, “Computing Concepts and Competencies.” During this class, I’ve learned such valuable things as changing cell colors in Microsoft Excel, and creating tables of contents in Word documents.
You can imagine that I find the class rather less than enthralling.
The class was apparently created by two faculty members, though it’s not clear who they are and I’ve yet to see one. It’s taught by grads who seem to be competent but are essentially reduced to going through a canned curriculum and following instructions that come from above.
We’re graded on the basis of “Bridge Tasks”, each of which has about six or so questions requiring minor demonstrations of what we’ve learned. They’re administered by the computer, and graded by (I’m guessing) yet more grads. Passing a bridge task guarantees a certain GPA; for example, I just failed by 2.5 bridge task, meaning that I have to retake it or I’ll receive a 2.0 in the class.
I failed it because I missed one question; I was supposed to select which computer system (specs were in a spreadsheet) was best according to three arbitrary criteria. One system was best in two of the three criteria, and tied for best in the third. Which apparently doesn’t qualify, at least not according to whoever graded my bridge task.
Now these bridge tasks are essentially equivalent to tests, except that missing one question means failing the whole thing and having to retake it (on my own time, at that.) So instead I complain about my grade; apparently there’s an entire process to get grades reviewed, and it’s not good enough just to show it to my instructor (who incidentally agrees with me on the grade.) Instead I have to wait 48 to 72 hours for an email.
This class really gets on my fucking nerves; the whole thing has been . . . mechanized . . . to the point that everything is immensely inconvenient. My instructor can’t help because someone, somewhere has to decide if my complaint is relevant. Meanwhile, whoever’s grading the things is a complete fucking moron who decided to fail me on the basis of a legalistic interpretation of the word “best” even though it doesn’t indicate anything about my ability to use computers at all. I really fucking resent this useless class, and today is the icing on the fucking cake. Yeah, in a few days it won’t matter but at the moment, I’m just really pissed off that I have to be here at all.
In the email I sent requesting a regrading, I discussed the ambiguity of the question, the meaning of the word “best”, and the fact that retaking that bridge task will provide no possible benefit to anyone. I think the SDMB is starting to rub off on me.