Wednesday, August 11, 2004

MBA Misadventures

A few people taking their written comprehensive exams (WCE) in the DLSU MBA program became upset when one of the examiners curtly announced that this particular exam will be Closed Notes! (CN)

CN, as those who are familiar with the DLSU MBA program would declare, is counter culture, much like failing students or shooting down bad reports and irrelevant arguments.

Personally, my objective preference is for CN exams. Why? Back in the day, we didn't even have the term CN. It was the norm. We could make a case for both open and closed notes exams, but my short discussion for the day will not go there.

Let's make a "fictional" Ethics case to define the issue at hand:

Mr. / Miss Ding (gender under suspect) has historically given Open Notes (ON) examinations both in his / her regular classes and in the WCE. He / she is in fact the poster boy / girl for method-heavy, insight-lacking, and technology-ignoring teaching. He / she is likewise perceived as vindictive and just downright bitchy. He / she is quite a character, speaking at bullet speed, having memorized his / her entire lecture for the sem.
Students of course must adapt his / her system in order to perform well.

For this WCE, students naturally expected more of the same. Mr. / Miss Ding after all, seems quite averse to change or criticism for that matter. Given this, students have every reason, but no right to expect that the status quo. Quite correctly, Mr. / Miss Ding points out that it is the students' obligation to prepare, and it is his / her right to expect such preparation from students regardless of what history dictates. Change, after all, must start from somewhere.

The clincher, however, is that Mr. / Miss Ding gave an ON exam to another class just two weeks before.

Thus, the issue shifts from historical consistency to seeming favoritism or even abuse of discretion. A benchmark for a single term should be consistent.

Where do you stand on this issue?

To this whole situation, my normal reaction would be to raise the issue with the proper authorities. I'm not happy with people bitching around, whining aimlessly. If something is not right, you correct it. Bring it to court, so to speak. If you don't trust or have faith in the "court", bring it to the "press". That's where I am I guess because I've brought things to "court" in the past, and I don't believe justice was served then.


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