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Raising the Bar in Rehab

First Exam of the Semester

Published September 30, 2008 12:02 PM by Lisa Catenacci
We all knew it was coming. We had our first exam of the semester last week-in our neuro rehabilitation course.  The exam covered material on MS, ALS, Parkinson's, basic neuro rehab theories, PNF, vestibular pathologies and interventions...the list goes on.  All in all, I thought the test was fair-every exam has some minute detail on it that I convinced myself I wouldn't need to know, but is apparently an important point.

I really don't enjoy exams, at all.  I don't do well under that kind of pressure- especially when 15 percent of my grade is on the line.  Some classes are up to 25 percent per exam, and if you don't do well, there aren't many options to revive your grade.  Anyway, I think there has to be a better way of testing a student's knowledge of course material.  I would love to do one-on-one interviews with my professors where they can ask me anything regarding the class, and I would explain my answer, and they could see how well I understand the concepts.  You cannot explain yourself on a Scantron exam form. 

Furthermore, for all the professors who read this blog: stop using PowerPoint.  It's really a ridiculous teaching method.  No student has ever been inspired by sitting in a dark room watching their professor read bullet points off an overall dull screen.  Turn the lights on and get your class to interact-we will remember the material better and thank you for thinking outside of the PowerPoint box.    


i am student of B.Tech(I.T.)

I need a examination system whose show the details of student at per semester

help as a project

avdhesh patel, infirmation technology - exemanation system, php December 9, 2008 2:28 PM
chitrakoot IN

Dear Lisa,

Having been in your shoes and now on the opposite end of them (as an adjunct instructor in a PT program) and concurrently being back in the classroom myself in a distance based learning program that extends beyond the US, I've come to some realizations.

First, we all want to do well.  Not only do we want personal affirmation of our knowlege, but we want acceptance...of the staff, of your peers, etc.  

Second, your instructors want you to do well.  Not only are they shaping the future of the profession, but they have a literal investment in your future. Failing out a current student is one less student that fills that spot in the program.  That being said, there are probably more ways to "revive" a grade that you may know.  Of course, repeated needs to "revive" someone's grade should call for a consideration as to whether the student is in the right course of study.  In general, however, your instructors are there to help you fill your knowledge needs.  

Third, and think this is going to be the hardest concept to understand at this point in your life, is that not getting straight As is not always the coup de gras.  An A is certainly a mark of excellence...but what IS really excellence?  PT students have been conditioned to strive for As, usually because that's what got them in the program in the first place...but have we been conditioned to think that we "deserve" them?  In the business world, an "excellent" rating on a job performance might be considered the equivelent of an "A"...but in reality, the only people who truely get those excellent ratings are people who do something absolutely astronomical like find a way to save the business millions of dollars.  Simply doing a good job and knowing your job is not enough to be considered "excellent."  In PT school, we must remember that those "As" are truely a mark of excellence.  We must sometimes take a deep breath and say "sometimes it's OK to get a B...or even a C."  I, myself, still remember my neuro final...I got a big fat C and didn't get that A in the class I was hoping for...but you know what...I deserved it.  When I really looked myself critically I told myself, "I did an adequate job, but I certainly was not excell in this class." In the long run, it was good feedback for me to study for the licensure certainly exposed me to my areas of weakness.  My point is: A's have really lost their value and are handed out too easily.

Finally, when I compare the grading systems of the US to that of New Zealand, I have found that although the US system appear to be held to a higher standard (where 90% and above equals an A vs. an 84% for an A and a 65% for a B, etc), foreign critique of educational work is much more constructive than typical American grading.  My last paper landed me a 68% (which is a B-) which may seem like a big shock...but you know what, I learned where I was really lacking in my understanding of the assignment.  In the end, I was able to go back and review what  I was lacking.  

...So, take a deep breath and realize it's not all about As's about understanding where you need to stengthen your knowlege. In the end, you're going to:

A: Forget half of what you know after you graduate and look it up when it's absolutely necessary

B: Realize that the other half you remember is either outdated, impracticle or just plain wrong.  

Good luck with the rest of the semester

Christie, Physical Therapist October 5, 2008 10:26 PM
Streamwood IL

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