[tex-live] One last question

Alan Litchfield alan at alphabyte.co.nz
Sun Aug 2 03:07:33 CEST 2009

On 2/08/2009, at 12:06 PM, Norbert Preining wrote:

> On Sat, 01 Aug 2009, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
>> (bcc'd to one of the worst culprits)
> Thanks for the flowers. Fortunately I am feeling quite well in being
> a culprit.

ahh Norbert, it is mostly your fault then I know how you must be  
feeling :)

Last semester I had a student who, through the intervention of the  
Disability Resource Office, was given the opportunity to sit an  
examination in a room separate from all the other students and with  
time extension. Having heard that another student with special needs  
had been given the opportunity sit their examination by typing their  
answers with a PC this student also requested that they should be  
given access to this too. That was duly granted although there was no  
specific requirement for a PC or for typed answers from this person.

Since there were now a number of students being given these  
dispensations I thought it best to enforce some standardisation in how  
the answers would come back and to restrict what the students could  
access from their PCs. I created a database that opened in kiosk mode,  
that is, no menus, Start menu, etc., that had the questions on each  
screen and fields into which the answers could be typed, allowed the  
usual navigation options, and an exit button for when it was finished.

This student was upset that they were required to use a database in  
the examination. They wanted to use a word processor, they wanted to  
type everything, they wanted a spell checker,... They wasted half  
their time in complaining about the database. They were not given a  
time extension beyond what had been specified by the DRO, they  
complained about that.

Eventually when the marks were tallied the student scored A- on the  
examination. This meant the student would have achieved an A for the  
paper. A good score in comparison with the other students and top of  
their stream. The student made a formal complaint about the database,  
lack of spell checker, lack of time extension,... quite a long tirade  
really so that I stopped reading the complaint fairly early on. The  
student insisted that they be granted an alternative assessment mark  
instead. I am an ethical lecturer, despite this students demands I  
asked the Examination Board to ignore their request and grant the  
student what they had earned.

Oh well, the Examination Board gave him what he asked for, the student  
is always right. They gave the student a C- for the paper.

Alan Litchfield
Alan Litchfield
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Auckland University of Technology

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