The academic year is coming to an end so it’s the best time to sum up the methods that are used at KI to evaluate your workload. The Institute cares not only about the diversity of its students, but also about the diversity of the ways you can acquire new knowlegde with. Therefore in this post I would like to share with you my impressions on the techniques that are utilized by KI to assess your progress throughout the programmes:
1) Written exam
This is obviously the most standard way that is practised by many educational institutions. No books, no notes, no Internet. At KI the typical exam lasts from 3 to 6 hours and gathers all definitions and theories you learned during the course. For some courses it is the one and only factor that influences your final grade, for the others it is only one segment that can change your grade to the better (or worse) one.
2) Home exam
This kind of the exam differs from the previous one in two main aspects: you can do it at home and use all the materials you can only come up with. These exams last for several days (a week approximately) and contain couple of extended questions that may be more complex from those used in the standardized written exams. Mind you, in my opinion the home exams are graded harsher just because the teachers expect your responses to be more accurate and detailed. Finally, for the exams’ results you will have to wait approximately 2-3 weeks since they are assessed by plenty of tutors.
3) Group workshops
You either love it or hate it. KI adores all the kinds of the group work and most often you cannot choose your assignment companions, since the groups are shuffled from time to time (some people claim it doesn’t work properly though).The point is that the academic staff believes that working in randomized groups will help you in the working environment. If it really helps, we’ll see in the future. Anyway, you don’t have to worry that you will be left with all the work on your own, everyone knows how it works. That’s why at KI group work is graded most often with Pass/Fail grading scale only.
4) Laboratory/Lab Reports
Your practical work won’t be assessed by three scary-looking teachers simultaneously shouting at you that you cannot handle the pipette, but rather by so-called laboratory reports and presentations. The lab excercises usually last for four days and Friday is the day for the presentation of your results, but the written lab report is the thing that matters. You have to follow detailed instructions and structure your report so that it looks like a real scientific paper. The quality of your results is not graded, though. It’s more about helping you to learn new laboratory techniques and teach you how to write in a scientific way. Furthermore, during the presentations the others group are asked to prepare the opposition that shoud resemble thesis defence when you have to answer all the critial questions of the examiners and prove that your results have any scientific meaning.
5) Literature Assignments
The purpose of ths kind of excercise is to teach you how to properly analyze and critically look at the research data. Most often you have to write a short report on the new discoveries in medicine, their value for the humanity with possible industrial applications. Sometimes you have to write about the current global health problems and propose the ways to prevent them from spreading out. There are no lecturing for this, you work and look for the information on your own. I think the purpose of these assignments is to interest you in some extracurricular topics that are not included in the main course agenda. You have to present your findings in front of the tutor(s) and answer their question as well. Pity that you rather won’t get any feedback on your performance but only a grade in the registry.
And the last words…
Remember that if you are unhappy with some courses, parts of it or the way you have been assessed, you can always fill in the course evaluation form that is given to the students directly after finishing the course or go directly to the teacher responsible for the course. The teachers at KI really listen to the students’ voices and surely will motivate their grading and explain what you could possibly improve in your future projects.
All the best,