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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Assn. Volume 40 Number 2. Feb 7 1977

The Customer is Always Right

page 8

The Customer is Always Right

This assessment question looks like its going to get a thrashing this year from N.Z.U.S.A. Right now I suspect that bugger all students really care about the subject and the ones who do think of it only on a personal basis assessment? What the hell its all work ain't it? Assessment? — it's up to them — I've got nothing to do with it mate. Going to the Pub tonight? Na, cant, bugger it got an assignment due in yesterday, a Tut exercise for Friday a Terms test next week .... This is possibly the only time where Assessment becomes a subject of any magnitude in the mind of the average student — and by then its too late.

Wind, rain. Radio Active, more bloody rain and still Radio Active drove a load of people into the Union Hall last Tuesday for the Assessment forum. The panel consisted of the very articulate Lisa Sacksen (President of NZUSA) and Mike Shassky (Education Vice President), no Professor Walters from the Geography Dept, Prof. Fanses from the Psychology Dept, and of course was chaired by the President of VUWSA, Lindy Cassidy.

Lisa Sacksen opened the forum by delivering, in essence, a precis of the N.Z.U.S.A. booklet" Assessment the least Onerous Form" which is available free of cost. If you couldn't make the forum last Tuesday then try to pick up this booklet, it's good news and no it doesn't take long to read, and you'll be in the know on the possibilities that are offering. Included are Open book exams. Objective Tests, Oral exams Continuous and Group Assessment. Lisa Sacksen pointed out that the University exists to fail students to label winners and losers through competitive assessments and thereby divide students. More questioning of lectures about the suitability of their assessment methods employed in their courses was needed.

Mike Shassky rose to speak next continuing the argument further by stating that the University's present Assessment system makes the person next to you your enemy. In your essays you must beat them. You must zap off to the library after the lecture to get all the good books before they get them. Any work you're doing must be kept a secret from them. Competition at its best. So at the end of the year you'll get an 'A' because you've bought all the good books. You've drained the Library, and what your highly advanced photographic memory can't remember won't make a shit of a difference because you wont have to answer that question in the paper.

Prof. Forbes, I suspect got himself a little out of his depth with this question. He admitted that he was open to genuine experimentation but didn't seem too able to grasp some of the points made from a learning point of view. As the forum continued and the discussion turned more towards doubting the credibility of the Sociology department he lost his ground.

So what came out of the forum? It was a pretty good start for the year on this subject. Pressing for more time outside the classroom, learning from contacts with others, and from the experience gained by extra curricular activity. Thes are the aims of the N.Z.U.S.A. with this compaign this year. Us quite a big subject so give it a thought.

"The Customer is always Right" so don't get sold anything questionable. By the way talking about buying, if you're the average student pisshead like the most of us — you better get out and get your drinking done, before those 1500 word assignments come along — and you're running out of time!

Students working in the library