FINAL year students are to meet with the university today after a number of complaints were made regarding a midterm examination and the subsequent behaviour of the course co-ordinator responsible for the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam.
Fourth year Business and Legal (B&L) and third year Commerce students have voiced their anger at the method of examination, in which students had 25 minutes to complete 25 questions on a computer without the option of reverting to previous questions once they had answered.
The MCQ was worth 15 per cent of the Strategy Formulation and Implementation module, which is worth ten academic credits, double that of most other undergraduate courses.
Students have argued that the wording of many questions was inappropriate, saying that, “all the answers looked the same and seemed to be based on different wording of the same thing”. Problems were also encountered with the log-in system used to sign students into the exam.
However students became “frustrated” when they did not receive a reply to emailed complaints that were sent to course co-ordinator, Dr Camilla Noonan. One student who sat the exam described “quite a hostile response from the course organisers”, adding that many students are now concerned that their worries are being ignored.
The students believe that their results are being held as staff members conduct an investigation into cheating practices during the midterm exam.
However students have been informed that examiners will attempt to isolate any students who cheated by comparing their MCQ results to those earned through group work and the final exam in an attempt to find discrepancies between the grades awarded for each component of assessment.
The university’s reaction has been criticised by those students involved who argue that no standard precautions, such as ensuring lecturers monitor students’ computer screens or sit students separately, were put in place.
Stating that the university’s response “hasn’t been satisfactory”, one student explained that their classmates are concerned as to how this exam will now stand to affect their degree results.
Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhan O Dea, and Education Officer, Paul Lynam acknowledged the students’ complaints however were unable to comment further than stating that they are in talks with the university in an effort to rectify the situation.
When questioned, a university spokesperson stated that the course co-ordinator is addressing issues raised by students.