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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Association. Volume 40, Number 3. March 14, 1977.

Assessment Forum

page 2

Assessment Forum

This is our latest idea. To get a bit of action going on the assessment front, we have decided to devote a column per week on courses and departments. This will be a forum for students who are pissed off with varsity, especially in their courses.

Dear Sir,

Re assessment, in particular Crim 201.

Event 1: at first lecture of year, handout given to class, part of which as follows:

"There will be a final examination. The balance between in-term assessment and the final examination will be decided at the lecture on the 3rd March".

Event 2: at lecture on 3rd March, after lengthy discussion involving all members of the class, decision made as follows:
Final exam40%
Mid-year test20%

Lecturer, Michael Stace, says he will have this typed up for distribution at next lecture.

Event 3: at lecture on 8th March, at conclusion of lecture, Stace says he has the details of assessment for the course on a handout. He places these on front desk for people to collect as they leave. Details as follows:

"For 1977Crim 201 will be assessed in following manner:
Mid-year test20%

Questioned on the change, Stace makes it clear that the Director of the Criminology Institute is responsible for the veto of students' wishes. Also makes it clear, he won't pursue the matter further.

Drawing of a man sitting at a desk surrounded by paper

Conclusion: Another assessment rip-off. Whether the class can now do anything with only one lecture left before the dead-line of Friday, March 11th, for finalising assessment procedure remains to be seen.

-Peter Gibbs

Dear Ed,

It's about time the Geography department realized that not all its students are conversant in the intricacies of maths. Having struggled through stage 1 labs by bludging answers off more capable friends. I am again confronted in Stage 2 with more meaningless equations.

It seems that Form 6 maths is necessary to cope and personally I never even advanced to form 3, choosing instead like many other students to opt for a non-maths course at high school.

Why doesn't someone in the department do a blurb in the prospectus that maths is needed, or better still, recognising that 3 out of 10 people in a lab can't cope even with a calculator, arrange some informal tutorial classes. At present we less informed people not only tie up the lab assistants but also gain nothing from a weekly 3 hour graunch.

With 10 compulsory statistics labs looming in the 2nd half of the year surely something can be done before then, even if only a preliminary handout. I realize that the aim of the geography department is to teach geography and not maths, but at present it is those skilled in maths who succeed.

Elizabeth R.

Pols 301

This course is loosely organised around the subject of Political Community, but was converted last year to the exclusive study of Plato's Republic. Dr. Reinken conceives his course entirely as it suits him, and with only periodic concessions (if the seminarians don't force their way) to the presence of others spiels on about whatever takes his fancy. These are often not so much seminars of Reinken's as a group of disciples gathered around the Dalai Lama adoringly awaiting the next instalments of the Dhukor Wangchen, or so he seems to see it. Though resembling the Buddha in some respects his [unclear: augaging], eccentric, electric style of presentation provides much entertainment but only fragmentary enlightenment, quite the reverse of his prototype.

This course involved last year (it's hard to say what It'll be like in '77) only a reading of the Republic from a group of four books in the course outline. The others were mentioned once or twice while passing from a comparism of medieval and modern American plumbing to the use of incrementalism in The Lord of the Rings. I doubt everybody in the course has finished the Republic, we all had to do seminars on it but most of these were taken from the beginning of the book. Perhaps this suggests that some others didn't like it, one or two thought it was terrific. The content goes far beyond political science to aesthetics, metaphysics and psychology, though the political consequences or significance of various ideas is stressed.

This is an unusual Pols course, recommended for anyone who wants a few months with an urbane and amusing cherub; wants to have an excellent (extra-political) understanding of the Republic; and wishes to have civilised and jocular seminars with coffee, tea, biscuits, cheese and pickles.

This is not one of the Gray gang's sinister 'structuralist' courses, it is loosely constructed, (or gives that appearance, perhaps there's method...) and allows plenty of latitude for cerebral gymnastics, suitable for the enthusiastic and arguementative, the fleet and broad-thoughted. Some people have complained of the good Doctor that he is hopelessly unintelligible, a maniacal nit-picking egocentric and pointy-headed obscurantist, but though these criticisers for letting themselves become intimidated and bogged down by Reinken's novel presentation.

—Mark Carey