EierVonSatan
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Reality Check)
Totally agree, and we've been saying this every year.. This year, as in most previous years, we awarded nearly 70% of our cohort a 2i, and the majority of the marks were in the 64-68 range. We had a couple of outstanding candidates, one of whom got 86, and two terrible ones who both got below 50.

We are particularly parsimonious with our I class results, but I think we've all felt for some time that the 2ii class is avoided probably more than it should be. Too much derivative, non-analytical and largely descriptive work gets 60 just through spotting one piece of 'analysis'. The full spectrum of marking needs to be used much more routinely, and marking is far too narrowly bunched in the 62-68 band. However, with the market in HE as it is now, I can imagine each and every candidate awarded a 2ii will go through a lengthy and bitter appeals process which becomes increasingly combative and resentful, often aided and abetted by the by now supposedly 'adult' student's helicopter parents, their eye firmly on that £30,000 of tuition fees.
Yep, some of the reasons why I had enough of academia. It's understandable why they behave as customers; they are almost led to believe they are buying a degree instead of an education.

I was marking 2nd year undergraduate work once and the first couple of questions were basic moles calculations, things you would easily see at A-level. For four questions in a row, they had the formula moles = mass/Mr as mass = moles/Mr and getting very silly answers as a result. Anyone can make a stupid mistake like that, but not realising it was a silly answer? Doing it multiple times? They scored fifity something on that assignment. As long as you hand it in and meet the basic criteria, you get a second class degree :sad:
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Anonymous #3
#42
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#42
there is two reason why 3rd class exist.

1) ppl have mitigating circumstances that why they didn't get high grade or usually they have to resit and cap at 40 - which means a 3rd class.
2) quality could be a lot higher so if you get a 3rd class from uni like cambridge/oxford then it's equivalent to a 1st or if not higher than a 1st in Leeds Trinity University, sunderland or other university further down the league board.
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_gcx
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#43
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(Original post by Anonymous)
there is two reason why 3rd class exist.

1) ppl have mitigating circumstances that why they didn't get high grade or usually they have to resit and cap at 40 - which means a 3rd class.
2) quality could be a lot higher so if you get a 3rd class from uni like cambridge/oxford then it's equivalent to a 1st or if not higher than a 1st in Leeds Trinity University, sunderland or other university further down the league board.
I think number 2 can be true but people will hardly recognise, or care.
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#44
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#44
(Original post by _gcx)
I think number 2 can be true but people will hardly recognise, or care.
number 2 is true .Loads of people come out with 2.2 or 3rd class from cambridge,oxford,etc, and still become reasonably successful (Tony Blair, Boris Johnson, Imran Khan, Vorderman).

I think people will care especially employer. If they see this student with a 3rd class degree then they will automatically get reject, but if it from a well known University such as Cambridge then they won't get reject . It make a difference a lot.
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EierVonSatan
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#45
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#45
(Original post by mnot)
It’s basically a soft fail.

You still need a system to classify where students end up.

Personally id rather just move to a GPA system.
I'd like something like this alongside classifications rather than throwing it out all together :yep: This doesn't solve the problem completely but it would help.
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Reality Check
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#46
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
Yep, some of the reasons why I had enough of academia. It's understandable why they behave as customers. they are alsmot to believe they are buying a degree instead of an education.

I was marking 2nd year undergraduate work once and the first coupl eof questions were basic moles calculations, things you would easily see at A-level. For four questions in a row, they had the formula moles = mass/Mr as mass = moles/Mr and getting very silly answers as a result. Anyone can make a stupid mistake like that, but not realising is stupid? Doing it multiple times? They scored fifity something on that assignment. As long as you hand it in and meet the basic criteria, you get a second class degree :sad:
Exactly so. In the example you've given, any even relatively switched-on student should have realised that the numbers they got out of the formula just looked wrong somehow, and thus warranted further investigation.

We had a similar question, which involved calculating the Michaelis–Menten constant, Km, of a physiological substrate. From a previous question, and their general knowledge, they should have know that they were looking for a result in the nM range, yet incorrect calculation was leading them to get molar quantities instead. I can forgive incorrectly applying or remembering a formula, but what I find hard to understand is making such a gross error and not realising that it is obviously wrong. It shows a lack of scientific understand; a lack of a 'feel' for things which, by Level 6, all candidates ought to have. Yes these candidates, by and large, got a low 2i as an overall result.
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_gcx
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#47
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(Original post by Anonymous)
number 2 is true .Loads of people come out with 2.2 or 3rd class from cambridge,oxford,etc, and still become reasonably successful (Tony Blair, Boris Johnson, Imran Khan, Vorderman).

I think people will care especially employer. If they see this student with a 3rd class degree then they will automatically get reject, but if it from a well known University such as Cambridge then they won't get reject . It make a difference a lot.
These people graduated years ago when a 2:2 was comparatively better than it is today. (they most likely would've received at least 2:1s today)

I'm not convinced the second paragraph is true, applications seem to just get tossed out for not meeting the minimum requirement in a lot of cases.
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mnot
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#48
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
I'd like something like this alongside classifications rather than throwing it out all together :yep: This doesn't solve the problem completely but it would help.
I just think the classification system is no longer effective.

Every uni has a completely different methodology
Some unis disregard low scoring credits (ive seen a uni that lets students simply wipe their bottom 30 credits from both their final & second year)
the borderline and mitigations around the final grade have become way too soft (imo)
The relative attainment in a classification can be huge someone who gets 69% can be put in the same tier as someone who gets 59% but had enough final year credits to get bumped up.

I would move to a pure credit weighted average. Your percentage is your final grade. All credits from all years count. Everyone gets rewarded with exactly what they deserve.
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EierVonSatan
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#49
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#49
(Original post by mnot)
I just think the classification system is no longer effective.

Every uni has a completely different methodology
Some unis disregard low scoring credits (ive seen a uni that lets students simply wipe their bottom 30 credits from both their final & second year)
the borderline and mitigations around the final grade have become way too soft (imo)
The relative attainment in a classification can be huge someone who gets 69% can be put in the same tier as someone who gets 59% but had enough final year credits to get bumped up.

I would move to a pure credit weighted average. Your percentage is your final grade. All credits from all years count. Everyone gets rewarded with exactly what they deserve.
I'm not disagreeing on that, I'm just thinking about still needing a handle to compare relatively recent graduates under the legacy system. They were talking about scraping the current system, like 20 years ago, but it's not changed yet

edit: my posting is FULL of typos today.
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mnot
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#50
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
I'm not disagreeing on that, I'm just thinking about still needing a handle to compare relatively recent graduates under the legacy system. They were talking about scraping the current system, like 20 years ago, but it's not changed yet

edit: my posting is FULL of typos today.
Thats fair enough.

I dont think it will change, and I think unis quite like it as a 2.1 is seen as the marker of a good degree and unis can push their stats.

I just wish we would sake the classification system off, I think if it happened an interim period makes sense where students would graduate with both for a couple years but then onto the GPA imo.

(it will remain a completely theoretical debate no doubt)
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nexttime
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#51
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
I'd like something like this alongside classifications rather than throwing it out all together :yep: This doesn't solve the problem completely but it would help.
Would it help though? When degree marks from different unis (and different subjects potentially) are completely incomparable?
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PQ
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#52
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My understanding is that if you get a 3rd class degree it isn't going to aid your career progression all too much as any 'degree-entry' jobs normally look for a 2:1 up.

Why are third class degrees a thing then? I have friends who struggled enough after getting a 2:2.

Why should anyone who only gets 40% have a degree (i.e. having not met requirements for that level of study for the majority of the course), surely that diminishes the value of one? Is it because of this that people see Masters degree grading more valuable as its pass (2:2), merit (2:1), distinction (1)?
Have a read of https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quali...rsn=824c981_10 page 3
A third is a student who basically met all the required learning outcomes and demonstrated the basic knowledge and skill required for that degree.

Most students are capable of getting above and beyond the basics and so get higher classifications.
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EierVonSatan
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#53
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(Original post by nexttime)
Would it help though? When degree marks from different unis (and different subjects potentially) are completely incomparable?
Oh I agree, anything much short of 'national standardisation' won't begin to solve that issue, but that's not desirable either.

Having finer detail, like GPA or a percentile system, would help you better differentiate but it wouldn't be flawless.
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nexttime
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#54
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#54
(Original post by EierVonSatan)
Oh I agree, anything much short of 'national standardisation' won't begin to solve that issue, but that's not desirable either.

Having finer detail, like GPA or a percentile system, would help you better differentiate but it wouldn't be flawless.
There are other ways to standardise though - control cohort grades based on entry standards for example (so you can only give out x% 1sts if your cohort attained y pre entry). Or you could have national standardisation but only for first year, or even first half a year, again to get a cohort score determining grades that can be awarded.

I don't know what the best solution is but I feel the current system is just about the worst conceivable option! Yet the government's big reforms have been GCSEs and A-levels because... voters? Or something?
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_gcx
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#55
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(Original post by nexttime)
There are other ways to standardise though - control cohort grades based on entry standards for example (so you can only give out x% 1sts if your cohort attained y pre entry). Or you could have national standardisation but only for first year, or even first half a year, again to get a cohort score determining grades that can be awarded.

I don't know what the best solution is but I feel the current system is just about the worst conceivable option! Yet the government's big reforms have been GCSEs and A-levels because... voters? Or something?
I can't see how standardisation could possibly work personally. You'd require standardised marking/exams and I don't see how that'd be practical or even possible with course differences and differences in expectations.

I think it's because it doesn't really disadvantage many people as it stands. The majority get a 2:1 or above and are happy.
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nexttime
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(Original post by _gcx)
I can't see how standardisation could possibly work personally. You'd require standardised marking/exams and I don't see how that'd be practical or even possible with course differences and differences in expectations.
Are there that many course differences in the first 6 months? Well probably yes tbh but... even if so, I feel it'd probably be a worthwhile sacrifice. And there being differences in expectations is exactly the point - that should be quantified. Maybe the exam could be almost immediately after they start, or even use A-level grades/entry tests as mentioned - the main problem with that is if there's a genuinely good uni which can drag its students upwards you don't give them any chance to show it.

Setting up new exam boards is the main barrier in my mind.

I think it's because it doesn't really disadvantage many people as it stands. The majority get a 2:1 or above and are happy.
It massively disadvantages employers in theory as anyone selecting using degree classification is going to get a huge mess resulting. It feels like employers simply don't realise the problem though?

With education being such a big export I also worry about our reputation abroad if all our degrees are just the same grade too.
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