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 Post subject: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment quest
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:26 am 
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Is it just me or has anyone noticed a huge inconsistency problem with the way the Gem-A mark the assignments, and the actual information that is in the course notes. Without posting the questions that were asked here (as obviously I'm not allowed), there were approximately 5 questions where I made sure to give the text book answer, especially with regard to treatments are carried out on gem species (obviously others are possible but not done on a commercial level) - i listed exactly the ones in the course notes, only to be told I'm wrong. I checked and checked the notes again and I am not wrong, they just don't seem clear at all on the answer they expect. Im not an idiot, but this is getting ridiculous.

Rant over :/ I passed, but a B is not acceptable :(

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:31 am 
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Yay! You passed!


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:21 am 
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Congrats Lucy!!!!!!!!
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

ciao
alberto

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:45 am 
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:smt026 :smt026 Fantastic news Lucy!

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:39 am 
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Lucy- wrote:
Is it just me or has anyone noticed a huge inconsistency problem with the way the Gem-A mark the assignments, and the actual information that is in the course notes. Without posting the questions that were asked here (as obviously I'm not allowed), there were approximately 5 questions where I made sure to give the text book answer, especially with regard to treatments are carried out on gem species (obviously others are possible but not done on a commercial level) - i listed exactly the ones in the course notes, only to be told I'm wrong. I checked and checked the notes again and I am not wrong, they just don't seem clear at all on the answer they expect. Im not an idiot, but this is getting ridiculous.

Rant over :/ I passed, but a B is not acceptable :(


Bravo, you passed!

I had the same experience on my Diploma exam. Based on the mock exams and advice on how to respond to the questions, I walked out of it feeling that I had in the mid-90's. Came back with a "B". I requested the examiners notes for my exam as I had no idea how there was such a big discrepancy. Conclusion was that I knew the information very well, but "didn't understand what the questions were asking for". In other words, the "if you answer this, this and this, you'll get full marks" advice was wrong as it leaves you with not nearly enough information given in your answers. I was more than a little annoyed because I wouldn't have approached the exam that way if left to my own devices.

Took a different tack for the DGA, basically put any and everything that had anything to do with the subject (from ALL chapters and angles) and won the Deeks Diamond prize. Total information download from brain to paper...


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:07 am 
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As the other posters said, you are not the first to have that experience Lucy, and I'm certain you will not be the last either... ;)

The important thing is to pass: *congratulations*! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:12 am 
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Thanks for the congrats guys, but I am so peed off with the way they ask questions and the way the information clearly stated in their course material as the answer is not the answer they were looking for. I mean for the quizzes you have your book next to you to check the answers - you would have to be a complete moron to truly get them wrong - Im not a moron.... i hope :/

I have emailed my instructor and asked her to pass it on to whoever is in charge as I won't accept a B as I know first of all I was right, and second it was the answer that was in the course material.

Im with you africanuck on giving all possible details, but some of them you have to tick boxes, and you daren't tick some boxes because they may mark you down for ticking something they don't consider an answer.

I think when It comes to the final exam I will write notes all over my paper explaining what I mean so they can't screw me over :)

Right, less ranting, more studying Lucy!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:02 am 
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Ah, you're speaking of only the online assignments? Sorry, I thought you were speaking of the final exam.

Those automark themselves and then get corrected by hand because any mistake (spelling, one less word etc) will mark it as wrong. If they are being marked wrong when the course notes say differently after being marked by hand, yes you should complain. It seems likely your tutor isn't reviewing the "mistakes" and correcting the ones that got caught up in whatever filters they have on the autocorrect. If need be, take screenshots of your answers and send them in to Lucy Dean in London (should you get no action from whoever is supposed to be reviewing your assignments).


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Hi Lucy,

You're not the only one experiencing this problem... I can assure you that our instructors check every single answer and are open to "negotiate" if you can "prove" what you say. Most of the time I just leave it as is (fighting over a stupid grade A vs. B right now can sink you when the same person/tutor marks you research project)...

I personally have an issue with the totally uncreative way in which questions are asked. Taking a sentence from the text:
"Xxx can become Yyy by heating and Yyy can become Xxx by irradiation" and making it a true/false question is a bunch of #@$*! You didn't ask me why it happened or how and you did not consider that both heating and irradiation can give you Yyy, Xxx and Zzz (if locality is considered)...

Further to the above the fact that they limited us to a single attempt on the recent "treatments and synthetics" quiz is stupid. We always had two attempts in the past - at least we got an idea of what/how they are asking questions if we were not happy with results the first time round.

Our best bet would be to give as much info in the final exams as possible - I have no intention of getting a "B" on my FGA!

Good luck with your research project!

Bert


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:45 am 
Aren't B's almost unheard of in the FGA dip-theory? I have never met or talked to anyone who obtained one (including some heavyweights here). Not sure about the practical.

The Foundation has several A's however.


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Lucy, it's a total PITA. I and another student on the on-site evening course went nuts over it all. Some of the staff probably thought we were a bit nuts, but while I don't mind losing marks for my own stupidity, I do mind when the computer says the wrong thing.

The assignments are all marked by a real person and there is generally a second go so your mark should change. Personally I would have preferred to stick with the Old Syllabus assignments even if they weren't marked.

Feel free to vent your wrath - the same tutor marked my assignment and I got a very high grade for it.

Kyriakin - both Africanuck and I got B grades in the Diploma Theory. IIRC, only one person in my class got an A for theory (and they got a distinction overall).

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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:06 pm 
gempyrate wrote:
Lucy, it's a total PITA. I and another student on the on-site evening course went nuts over it all. Some of the staff probably thought we were a bit nuts, but while I don't mind losing marks for my own stupidity, I do mind when the computer says the wrong thing.

The assignments are all marked by a real person and there is generally a second go so your mark should change. Personally I would have preferred to stick with the Old Syllabus assignments even if they weren't marked.

Feel free to vent your wrath - the same tutor marked my assignment and I got a very high grade for it.

Kyriakin - both Africanuck and I got B grades in the Diploma Theory. IIRC, only one person in my class got an A for theory (and they got a distinction overall).

Apologies, I miss-typed my message.

I was meant to say that A's were almost unheard of in the Dip Theory (which you underlined by saying that only one student in your class obtained one).


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:00 pm 
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I was a straight B student... :mrgreen:

You still get the FGA thing... You don't become a FGB... I think it is important to stress that the real thing has to happen AFTER you obtain your piece of paper. The Gem-A diploma course is a nice intro into the field but true comprehension will come in the years after that. I can see some light glaring at the end of the tunnel now (4 years later) but the end of that tunnel seems to get away from me faster than I can catch up. The cliché of 'the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know' is very true...

Which makes it fun... :P


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:55 am 
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I agree - any course that claims to teach you everything would be misleading. I passed the FGA and DGA many years ago, and the course sets you up to be in the frame of mind to learn, but the real experiences start once you've passed. From my experience with others who've done the courses, they try to set you up for real-life situations, when you're confronted with a stone and just asked "what is it?" rather than be a customer stand in from of you and give you choices of what it could be. Being a gemologist is like being a detective, you have to know how to apply different ideas to different situations, as there can never be a definitive list for anything - I was recently asked to identify a blue stone which turned out to be aquamarine....but it had been coated to make the blue a better shade! There are some sneaky and inventive people out there! #-o


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 Post subject: Re: Inconsistancys in gem-A's course notes and assignment qu
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:18 pm 
This "B is crap and not good enough for me" stuff is a bit insulting to those (basically everyone on here, give-or-take) who scored a B previously.

I might take the point if A's and B's (in the diploma at least) were of roughly equal occurence, but A's almost don't exist at the higher-level.

I would have to agree with those that say, jump through their stupid little hoops, and get their piece of paper. Then get out and actually learn something applicable to the real (commercial) world.

You gotta be pragmatic, and knowing the optic sign of a andalusite isn't going to make a potential employer any money.

This "I regurgitated the exact set answer" stuff is one of the big problems with the theory course IMHO. I remember talking about "open umbrella colour zoning", "platinum platelets" and whatever, with out having ever observed these things, on the grounds that it was "in the book". I just memorised lists.

Then, thrown into the real world, grads have absolutely no knowledge of markets, prices, quality assessment and all the other things you might actually need to be productive in a commercial environment.

Scrapping over an A or a B in the art of "memorising a book, that you could have to hand after graduation anyway" doesn't really matter IMHO.


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