Unfair Grading

Updated | Posted
by RoseTh93 (New) New

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I am new to this forum. I recently encountered an incident that has left me quite disappointed. We had a head-to-toe assessment check off and med check off before we started our second semester for nursing. I made sure to prepare well to do well in both my head-to-toe check off that day as well as med check off.

During our head to toe assessment, my partner that went before me missed several objectives on head-to-toe assessment such as, introducing herself to the patient before verifying the patient information, declaring “lung sounds were clear in all field with no adventitious sounds”, she failed to check my lower back for pressure ulcer, she also failed to check cap refill on my lower leg, and she failed to ask about any blood seen during bowel movement, and she failed to check for normal skin tone whereas I missed asking about “clarity” for urine only.

Although I am happy for my partner, I felt it was unfair she made a 100 with several mistakes. I do admit I was rightly cut off 2 points for forgetting to ask about clarity in urine. I am very happy with my grade. However, I could not be at peace without communicating with the professor the process of the matter as I felt it was unfair. I am sure the instructor’s intention was not as such. After reaching out to my instructor to address my concerns respectfully, she outright told me to “stop being competitive…we nurses need to be supportive of each other”, and she also told me she made the “best clinical judgement” based on our “levels”.

I thanked her for her response and informed her that I and my partner were both in the same level (Level 2). I stated that I believed what I expressed was lost in translation and misunderstood. I never once thought of competition at all. I merely wanted the same fairness for everyone who is on the same level. I never meant to express what I expressed due to the difference in our grades at all. If it was about competition, I would have made sure to say something right then and there. I was absolutely not questioning her judgement. I sincerely apologized if my email ever came off that way. I was merely advocating for myself. We were both in the same level and while I caught several of her mistakes and none of them were accounted for and me being in the same level as her, I made one mistake (missing to ask for clarity in urine) and that was accounted for, I sincerely meant to only advocate for equality and fairness when we are in the same level.

We all work hard to do well in school and we all work alongside each other with our colleagues to help each other succeed. I have always made sure to help my colleagues in any way I can to help them do well in class. This was never about competition. Hence, I took the matter to the instructor rather than talking about it with my colleague who admitted her mistakes were overlooked. I simply praised her for doing well. 
However, instead of addressing my concerns, the instructor simply shut down the conversation by saying “you were not being disrespectful at all, we were just communicating… no worries”!

I responded to her email by letting her know that I am relieved to find that she understood my honest intention behind my email. I expressed to her that I sincerely hoped she will address the concerns I have raised. Her previous responses to my concerns were focused on deflecting it towards "competition". I humbly thanked her again for allowing me to express my thoughts and advocate for myself. Sadly, she has not responded to my concerns at all. 

Being aware of the hard work we all put in to making a good grade in our class while learning to be a competent nurse, I did not feel at peace encountering such unfairness in grading. I felt more at unease when my instructor focused on being defensive rather than addressing the concerns at hand. This is merely the beginning of the semester and she is my clinical instructor who is in charge of grading my competency during clinical hours. I merely wanted to be assured it was an honest mistake and I will not have to worry about such treatment towards me or anyone for that matter. 

Am I dwelling over it a tab bit too much? Should I just drop it and let it go? Please help guide me!

Thank you so much. 

Yes, you are.

Don’t spend another second thinking about what everyone else is getting, and certainly don’t ever email your instructors again about how they graded your peers.

There is one set of grades that matter, yours.  That’s it, no one else, nothing else, pass nursing school and move on.

RoseTh93

8 Posts

3 minutes ago, FiremedicMike said:

Yes, you are.

Don’t spend another second thinking about what everyone else is getting, and certainly don’t ever email your instructors again about how they graded your peers.

There is one set of grades that matter, yours.  That’s it, no one else, nothing else, pass nursing school and move on.

I suppose you are right. However, my concern was never about grades alone. It was about equality and fairness. I sat through my peer missing all those objectives as she was performing the assessment on me but the instructor overlooked them all or was not paying attention. My concern isn’t “why my peer made a better grade than me”. My concern is merely “why weren’t we both held to the same standards when it came to grading”. We are both in same level and both are starting our second semester. 

1 hour ago, RoseTh93 said:

I suppose you are right. However, my concern was never about grades alone. It was about equality and fairness. I sat through my peer missing all those objectives as she was performing the assessment on me but the instructor overlooked them all or was not paying attention. My concern isn’t “why my peer made a better grade than me”. My concern is merely “why weren’t we both held to the same standards when it came to grading”. We are both in same level and both are starting our second semester. 

Suppose your perspective is correct and the grading was completely unfair and you are being held to a higher standard, do you really think pointing it out to the professor, then relentlessly bugging them about it is going to make things better on you?

I hate to be the old curmudgeon in the room, but life isn't fair.  Worry about your own grades and let everyone else worry about their own grades.

You both passed, you already said you were happy with your grade, that is exactly where this story should end for you.

 

RoseTh93

8 Posts

4 minutes ago, FiremedicMike said:

Suppose your perspective is correct and the grading was completely unfair and you are being held to a higher standard, do you really think pointing it out to the professor, then relentlessly bugging them about it is going to make things better on you?

I hate to be the old curmudgeon in the room, but life isn't fair.  Worry about your own grades and let everyone else worry about their own grades.

You both passed, you already said you were happy with your grade, that is exactly where this story should end for you.

 

I have only sent 2 emails in total to the instructor regarding the matter. She herself admitted to not cutting her points off because she “thought” we were in different levels. Therefore, my perspective isn’t incorrect. If only it was as easy as you saying. When you witness the unfairness outright in front of you, I had no idea we are supposed to stay quiet as long as “we pass”. When we see an instructor scrutinizing one student’s small mistake and completely ignoring several mistakes of another is something we are supposed to just stay quiet about as long as “we pass”. Nevertheless, thank you for your insight. It does give me something to think about for sure. We may not have same views and opinion on this matter. However, I do respect your words even if I may not agree on it. Thank you.

1 hour ago, RoseTh93 said:

I have only sent 2 emails in total to the instructor regarding the matter. She herself admitted to not cutting her points off because she “thought” we were in different levels. Therefore, my perspective isn’t incorrect. If only it was as easy as you saying. When you witness the unfairness outright in front of you, I had no idea we are supposed to stay quiet as long as “we pass”. When we see an instructor scrutinizing one student’s small mistake and completely ignoring several mistakes of another is something we are supposed to just stay quiet about as long as “we pass”. Nevertheless, thank you for your insight. It does give me something to think about for sure. We may not have same views and opinion on this matter. However, I do respect your words even if I may not agree on it. Thank you.

That's fine.  The last piece of advice I'll give you is this:

I implore you to abandon this line of thinking as soon as possible.  It is destructive, unhealthy, and will lead to a life full of anxiety and disappointment.  Worse yet, this mindset can very easily evolve into becoming a person who is constantly cutting people down, backstabbing, and doing whatever it takes to try to look better than everyone around you.

I cannot possibly stress this enough - the grades of your fellow students have ABSOLUTELY ZERO impact on your ability to be a nurse.  You need to internalize that.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 1,784 Posts

3 hours ago, RoseTh93 said:

When we see an instructor scrutinizing one student’s small mistake and completely ignoring several mistakes of another is something we are supposed to just stay quiet about as long as “we pass”.

This is a true example of the definition of "competition".

Quote

of or relating to a situation in which people or groups are trying to win a contest or be more successful than others : relating to or involving competition : having a strong desire to win or be the best at something

 

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

Don't question your professor or instructor. That's his or her business to address academic problems. 

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

6 hours ago, RoseTh93 said:

I have only sent 2 emails in total to the instructor regarding the matter. She herself admitted to not cutting her points off because she “thought” we were in different levels. Therefore, my perspective isn’t incorrect. If only it was as easy as you saying. When you witness the unfairness outright in front of you, I had no idea we are supposed to stay quiet as long as “we pass”. When we see an instructor scrutinizing one student’s small mistake and completely ignoring several mistakes of another is something we are supposed to just stay quiet about as long as “we pass”. Nevertheless, thank you for your insight. It does give me something to think about for sure. We may not have same views and opinion on this matter. However, I do respect your words even if I may not agree on it. Thank you.

My classmates would ask what's my grade.  I'd jokingly reply if they're donating theirs to me if I didn't pass. LOL

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

Anyways, it's painful if we see or perceived "unfairness." Maybe your instructor looked for something you missed. Other instructor avoids asking a student in front of his or her peer(s) while the others do it in front of everyone. 

Pretend she is your parent who has favorite.? 

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

8 hours ago, FiremedicMike said:

Yes, you are.

Don’t spend another second thinking about what everyone else is getting, and certainly don’t ever email your instructors again about how they graded your peers.

There is one set of grades that matter, yours.  That’s it, no one else, nothing else, pass nursing school and move on.

That's why I conceal my grades from my colleagues. 

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

7 hours ago, RoseTh93 said:

I have only sent 2 emails in total to the instructor regarding the matter. She herself admitted to not cutting her points off because she “thought” we were in different levels. Therefore, my perspective isn’t incorrect. If only it was as easy as you saying. When you witness the unfairness outright in front of you, I had no idea we are supposed to stay quiet as long as “we pass”. When we see an instructor scrutinizing one student’s small mistake and completely ignoring several mistakes of another is something we are supposed to just stay quiet about as long as “we pass”. Nevertheless, thank you for your insight. It does give me something to think about for sure. We may not have same views and opinion on this matter. However, I do respect your words even if I may not agree on it. Thank you.

Say it short when you address issues with your instructor. You aren't in authority figure to correct it.

I'd say it this way if I ever care enough to email:  "Dear Educator, I'm hurt after my colleague revealed her grade to me. What important points were you looking for during the evaluation?"

Don't jump in accusing your instructor for being "unfair."