Really amateurish rubric | Coursera Community
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Really amateurish rubric

  • 10 June 2021
  • 6 replies
  • 115 views

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Hi,

I am enrolled in the Stalin and Stalinism in Russian History course (10 weeks) and right out of the gate the ability to assess and grade assignments is a joke:

“The task will be assessed by other students according to the following criteria: the validity, logic and clarity of your arguments. Each student will write at least 3 reviews of other students’ essays. The maximum you can get for this task is 6 points. The passing grade for this task is 50%.”

Because of serious errors and repetition in the rubric, it actually comes to 8 points.

The second section of the marking rubric is illogical and repeats itself twice essentially, perversely allowing students to score more points for having one illogical point than having all logical arguments:

Are the arguments logical and easy to understand?


0 points
All arguments are illogical or difficult to follow


1 point
Two arguments are illogical or difficult to follow


2 points
One argument is illogical or difficult to follow [repetition of “4 points - One point is illogical or difficult to follow”]


3 points
All arguments are logical and easy to follow [repetition of “5 points - All points are logical and easy to follow”]


4 points
One point is illogical or difficult to follow [repetition of “2 points - One argument is illogical or difficult to follow”]


5 points
All points are logical and easy to follow" [repetition of “3 points - All arguments are logical and easy to follow”]

 

There is a repetition essentially between options “3 points” and “5 points” and it does not make sense that a student would score more for having one illogical point “4 points” than for having all arguments logical “3 points”.

 

The first section for marking seems to be fine:

Are the points valid?


0 points
None of the points is convincing


1 point
One point is valid


2 points
Two points are valid


3 points
Three points are valid

 

I want to know if this problem can be fixed and especially if the course repeats such silly errors for Weeks 2-10. Otherwise I see zero point of getting/paying for the certificate.

I am disappointed both the academic and Coursera did not proofread to avoid this sort of silly mistake.

Thanks

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Best answer by Maryam 14 June 2021, 04:14

:loudspeaker: Update - A teaching staff member has replied to the thread in the discussion forums. (I'm not doing this course myself, I just followed that thread once I saw it a few days ago.)

They state "Indeed, the instructions contain conflicting information about the maximum points". They say they are going to correct it. Please reply to them if you have more feedback or if you see more problems.

Good luck!

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6 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi. I am enrolled in that course too! (I’m a bit off for other things by the way) so I wanted to give it a check:

.1 -- It seems, first of all that this kind of course is free grading / pay for certificate -- so basically you didn’t need to pay unless you wanted a certificate later on.

  • The certification is a bit abstract concept,  you can’t compare a online courses to an academy
    The most is up to your interest, not to someone else’s evaluation -- sorry for moralizing

.2 -- I don’t know why, but I personally could not see any “question” where the prompt says :

In this task you will have to write a short essay expressing your point of view to the given question in order to check your understanding of the topic.

however I see that you can immediately throw your doubts in the Forum (see the button “Discussion” beside “My Submission”) which is more appropriate.

I personally won’t use terms like silly idiot stupid imbecile wicked course -- you know, doesn’t help :-

Badge +2

Hi ATP,

Thanks for your reply.

Well, I have to be honest: the error is silly, especially as thousands of students are meant to have taken the course and HSE is regularly the third-ranked university in Russia, plus first-ranked in certain individual disciplines. I know mistakes happen but I expected more from this course at the outset, such as proof-reading of tasks and review of any grading problems/illogicalities.

Coursera advertises itself as showcasing the best and brightest, and I think it is only reasonable for students to be expect rigour in the way courses and assessments are presented given Coursera’s own descriptions. Of course, this is an institution error (HSE’s), not Coursera’s, but you get my drift.

I know peer-reviewed grading is not as ideal as grading by university tutors and academics, but this error relates to the institution itself, not fellow students doing the grading.

Due to coronavirus, my options to study in Eastern Europe directly (my first preference) have been postponed indefinitely. So I am eager to get basic paid certificates for my line of work and I would like these certificates to be based on something fair and consistent, reflecting my actual efforts.

As for the course forums, they have been largely dormant for months from what I have seen. Here I can expect faster replies.

Thanks again for your input.

Badge +2

Being new to the forum, I accidentally selected my own reply as the ‘Best answer’. This was inadvertent and I am not sure how to reverse it. I do not consider the thread to be answered/resolved.

H@belgorod,

Thank you for sharing your observation with us.

  • First, don't worry about your reply being marked as an answer. The moderator, @Jose A, can unmark it. This happened to me, too, in the early days of this community and they corrected it. :blush:
  • Second, regarding the rubric issue, I understand your point. You mean the last 2 items basically contradict the other ones, especially if argument=point in their view: All arguments are logical= All points are logical. Plus, yes, the total number will be 8, not 6.

I just took a look at the discussion forums of your course. No one has ever detected it. There is only one thread about it which I think you created yourself some hours ago. It's great that you are this much focused on your course and attentive to the instructions.

I hope someone from the course team will see your feedback in the course's discussion forum. In the meantime, please flag it using the flag icon. It's something that should be reviewed and/or corrected by the course team. Or at least, they could clarify why they included those items (if they believe those 2 items are needed). In addition, by reporting it to Coursera's support team, you could enable them to use your report to reach out to the course team.

Userlevel 7

In my eyes, you took the advantage of such a tiny issue that no one ever spotted, to vent who knows what disappointment against the institution along with the platform. I think this goes really beyond reasonable.  

:loudspeaker: Update - A teaching staff member has replied to the thread in the discussion forums. (I'm not doing this course myself, I just followed that thread once I saw it a few days ago.)

They state "Indeed, the instructions contain conflicting information about the maximum points". They say they are going to correct it. Please reply to them if you have more feedback or if you see more problems.

Good luck!

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