myosinhead

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My physics lab class has two different sections with two different TA's.
Each TA is in charge of only their own group's lab and marking of report.
The problem is that the TA in charge of my section is someone who doesn't speak English and very unhelpful.
Most of the time, we need to ask her about certain things more than twice for clarification. But the other TA is completely opposite. He is very good at helping you out during lab compared to my TA, whose marking of lab reports (70% of the grade, ridiculously) is really strict, while his marking is really generous.
How I know this is because I once had to do the lab in his section due to time conflict. I also compared the lab reports marked by him with mine and the ones that got high scores were similar to mine. Some were exactly the same as mine in quality.
I complained about this to course instructor, who doesn't do any markings. But she never responds to this. She seems not to care.
Getting a better/worse mark just because you get a different TA is just ridiculous.
I and several other classmates are thinking that this course needs some serious modifications.
I shouldn't have taken this course in the first place, or if I had to, then I should've signed up for the other TA's section.
I'm so MAD.... :(
 

CafeMed

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Aug 24, 2008
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Labs are usually normalized in the end to account for differences in TA grading.
 

alwaysaangel

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Thats life. I can understand you're upset and want to vent. But unfortunately its something you have to get used to.

It will happen a lot. You will often get a lousy TA or a lousy professor. In med school you can get a bad resident or a bad attending. When you work you can get a bad boss. Its going to happen for the rest of your life. You learn to deal.

The most reasonable thing you can do is to ask for the two labs grades to be adjusted to a constant mean. Eg. if the mean in the other TAs class is 90 then that should be adjusted down to a mean of 85, and if your TAs class mean is 60 then it should be adjusted up to a mean of 85. Therefore creating a constant between the two. I'd actually be surprised if that wasn't how it already worked, check your syllabus. Beyond that there isn't much you can do.
 

Quix

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Thats life. I can understand you're upset and want to vent. But unfortunately its something you have to get used to.

It will happen a lot. You will often get a lousy TA or a lousy professor. In med school you can get a bad resident or a bad attending. When you work you can get a bad boss. Its going to happen for the rest of your life. You learn to deal.

The most reasonable thing you can do is to ask for the two labs grades to be adjusted to a constant mean. Eg. if the mean in the other TAs class is 90 then that should be adjusted down to a mean of 85, and if your TAs class mean is 60 then it should be adjusted up to a mean of 85. Therefore creating a constant between the two. I'd actually be surprised if that wasn't how it already worked, check your syllabus. Beyond that there isn't much you can do.
This. Quoted for emphasis.
 

chemnerd89

In it for the lulz
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Jun 23, 2008
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My physics lab class has two different sections with two different TA's.
Each TA is in charge of only their own group's lab and marking of report.
The problem is that the TA in charge of my section is someone who doesn't speak English and very unhelpful.
Most of the time, we need to ask her about certain things more than twice for clarification. But the other TA is completely opposite. He is very good at helping you out during lab compared to my TA, whose marking of lab reports (70% of the grade, ridiculously) is really strict, while his marking is really generous.
How I know this is because I once had to do the lab in his section due to time conflict. I also compared the lab reports marked by him with mine and the ones that got high scores were similar to mine. Some were exactly the same as mine in quality.
I complained about this to course instructor, who doesn't do any markings. But she never responds to this. She seems not to care.
Getting a better/worse mark just because you get a different TA is just ridiculous.
I and several other classmates are thinking that this course needs some serious modifications.
I shouldn't have taken this course in the first place, or if I had to, then I should've signed up for the other TA's section.
I'm so MAD.... :(
I have TA'd chem 101, and grades are curved across the sections to adjust for differences in grading.
 

cyclin M

megaman
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Nov 24, 2008
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God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Have a good one. :)
 

apgar

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Nov 14, 2008
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Yeah, while it is a very unfortunate/sad situation, there is nothing you can really do if the course instructor does not do anything to rectify the situation. I do empathize with you, but it might be best to move on. Ultimately, one grade (especially for lab) will not make or break your application.

Best of luck in the future!
 

HeatherMD

Queen of Passiveagressiva
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Oct 29, 2008
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Hi, welcome to university.







I have also TA'd and the lab grades of all sections were curved at the end to equalize the classes and minimize any discrepancies in marking.