Quantity Over Quality

| UK | Learning | March 30, 2017

(The course I am on has coursework which is completed in two parts, one which focuses on quantitative work, while the other is qualitative. Depending on which you want to focus on, the weighting is split 80:20, with the 80 being a 2000-word report for quantitative and 3000-word for qualitative. The remaining 20 is a 1000-word essay either way. Regardless of which you pick, you are expected to complete and submit both parts to have even a chance to pass. We are working on the quantitative where we are split into groups (I am with two others). We are expected to complete 20 questionnaires each to create a decent sample size for measuring attitudes to same-sex parenting. I complete my portion while the others don’t. The deadline is at the end of the week for the full write up and I start going into a panic. I try to contact them but they seem to have disappeared. I eventually ask my tutor and arrange to work with another group’s data while I share mine with them. With some elbow grease I finish for the deadline and am happy with the report. We are moving onto the qualitative section when I finally meet up with my group.)

Me: “What happened to the questionnaires? I had to go with [Friend]’s group.”

Student #1: “We decided to just do the qualitative section.”

Me: “So? You’re still expected to do the questionnaires.”

Student #2: “But you just need a thousand words if you do the qualitative one. You can just make it up.”

Me: “What? No, you can’t.”

Student #1: “You can!” *smirking* “We worked on it together so ours match. If anyone compares ours you’ll look like the one who made it up. You’ll fail!”

Me: “No. I went to [Tutor] and arranged to work with someone else. Anyway, the results you come up with don’t matter. It’s how you justify the results in the write up.”

Student #2: “Justify? I thought you just had to write the results?”

Me: “What would be the point of that? You’ve been doing that for a year and a half already.”

(I walked away as I heard them both start swearing. The qualitative section was solo, so it was a lot easier to get things done. The workload however was a lot larger, with writing transcripts and conducting discourse analysis. I breezed through it having only 1000 words to do, while the others had a hard time with the full 3000 word write up (in a report format they have never done before). After all our work is submitted, they tried to launch a smear campaign against me, blaming me for their potential failure. It didn’t work, though, and once the results came in, I passed with one of the highest marks that year. One of them failed while the other just scraped by — to this day I don’t know how.)

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