Thursday, May 15, 2008

Can somebody explain this to me?

(no, this isn't a picture of Jack)
Remember that stack of papers I have to grade? Well, I'm still working on them. But I had to stop and vent some frustration. Tell me how I interpret this:

One, single project, with four group members, on the effect of two different diets (Artemia and copepods) on jellyfish growth and budding. Here are summaries of each student's account of their methodology:

Student 1 - project ran for 23 days, fed jellyfish 10ml of the two different diets at first, then reduced to 5ml after 10ml was deemed too much.

Student 2 - project ran for 4 weeks, fed jellyfish 1ml of both diets.

Student 3 - project ran for 6 weeks, fed jellyfish 3ml of both diets.

Student 4 - project ran for 4 weeks, fed jellyfish 1ml of one diet, 5ml of the second

It's one thing (and expected) for members of a team to differ in how well they explain their experimental procedure - some leave things out that others include, some are more concise and understandable, but no one in this group agrees on the day-to-day details of the experiment. How does that happen?

Does this mean they didn't actually do the experiment and made stuff up? Was this a complete breakdown of teamwork and each individual did their own thing? Did one student do the whole thing and then screw with the other three by telling each something different?

4 comments:

sarah said...

sounds to me like you are going to have to have a meeting.

Kevin Zelnio said...

Thats hilarious. Usually everything is boringly identical. In my 4 years of teaching intro biol, never came across that.

Eric Heupel said...

Ouch!!
As frustrating as it is for you as a Professor it is funny, and quite possibly there is a highly frustrated student too.

From personal experience, I would venture to guess that Student 1 did the experiment, the others "helped" set it up but never bothered to show up for the daily feedings or the clean up, Gina, er... I mean ... student 4 helped feed one day and helped tear down, but then got the methodology mixed up a bit...

CR McClain said...

So what was the real story