Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Optimizing behavior - Revisited yet again

For those not up to date on my mandatory SSP class at UPEI, I am currently on course for a 64% without completing a final mandatory paper, or so I was told on Thursday. After what I can only assume was a discussion with administrators who demand discipline from students, my instructor now tells me that failure to do a satisfactory job of this paper puts my work ethic in question, which then lowers my mark for in-class work.

Yes, I still plan on putting this to the test. Previously, I asked the instructor about the minimum mark I needed on the paper to pass the course. The answer came back (-15%). That was reasoned from previous givens, and was consistent with all that had been said before. Well, all except for the project being mandatory.

Now, somehow magically, the standard has risen. There is now a feedback loop that was not previously discussed in the marking schedule. Even though the final mark is calculated from two blocks of marks, the in-class work and the final paper, the final paper now influences the in-class mark.

I challenge anybody to make sense out of that. If you can't and you decide to suspend me from UPEI based upon it, I have a moral obligation to tell everybody I can reach know how decisions are made at UPEI. I have a moral obligation to let Islanders know how their own personal tax-money pit manages human capital. I take education and obligations seriously. Perhaps I will get another chance to show how seriously.

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