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Salient. Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 41 No. 3. March 13 1978

Further Problems

Further Problems

The Keller Plan has however another class of problem altogether which must be resolved before its full benefit can be realised. The assessment procedure adopted at present involves a very cunning blending of quantity and quality of work which in theory should provide a very fair indication of progress. The trend which developed last year in Math 205 spoilt this idea somewhat, as the crafty students realised that a large amount of work done indifferently rated more highly than a lesser amount performed with greater care. Thus many students completed the course without having come fully to terms with some of its fundamental ideas.

I have not been able to find out whether the course content of the Linear Algebra component of the Math 205 course increased with the introduction of the Keller Plan, but it seems likely that some of the latter modules include additional material. This is not surprising as the course offers a heaven-sent opportunity for including material not normally offered in undergraduate courses.

In a less success-oriented environment no great harm would have resulted but perhaps those who designed the course forgot to allow for the "Average Student Philosophy" (for which the university must accept much of the blame as it seems an inevitable by-product of the type of tertiary institutions we are at present blessed with). In this one must seek the highest mark possible for the minimum amount of effort expended.

The most obvious solution to the problem would be to reduce the number of modules so that students who wished to do the lot would be able to without feeling the necessity of tearing hell - for - leather through them to get to the end and secure a good grade for the course.