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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Suffering a fool

Although studying in a foreign university system has been, I believe, a valuable experience, one of the things that has really frustrated me about the French system (or at least the system as it applies to this particular program) is how heavily our grades rely upon groupwork. I don't mind groupwork but I really do not believe that it should constitute more than 25% of your grade and certainly not 100% of it as it does in about 75% of our classes here in France.

I definitely understand the importance and benefit of groupwork, particularly for business/finance students, but I think it is still important to measure individual achievement, especially in the case of students who severely under-perform in each and every class where their grade depends upon only their own work and not that of others. Say hello to the competitive freak in me once again rearing its ugly head, but I honestly believe that people who should fail out of the program due to their complete incompetence and inability to grasp even the simplest concepts relevant to our studies...well...they should actually fail out and not be propped up by the fact that for half of the program they can pretty much piggyback on group members who actually understand the information well enough to get a decent grade.

In one of our classes we're writing a group term paper and guess who I got in my group? Yup, my roommate. While she was on vacation the rest of the group decided it would be best to give her something simple to do, like the history of the company, which to her credit she did turn into me for editing on schedule. But when I looked at it this morning and told her that, because it's a research paper, she needed to cite her work, she gave me this dumbfounded look and an explanation of how she'd have to go through all her work again because she wasn't sure where each part came from. Then she actually asked me if I needed her to add those in before I could turn it into the professor.


I choked back the urge to ask, "What kind of a stupid question is that?" and politely said, "Of course."

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wingless was still breathing at 4:44 AM -

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