Feeling a rant coming on…

ETL 505 is an inexorably difficult ornery subject full of pitfalls, terminology, stress and anti-matter flavored nastiness.

The first assignment is back and I passed… but not by that much.  May I be frank? The lecturer who marked my essay (which I spent days – yes days – sweating over) for which I neglected my children (partially), eschewed meals for, ripped hair out, uttered curses so vile the dog left the room, cried over and gnashed my teeth for  – well the lecturer wrote a total of 3 tiny comments. That’s it.  A total of about 20 words. And a comment at the very end.  Frankly (yes here comes the let’s be frank bit), FRANKLY that is just not good enough.  I feel the marking should be at least a little bit more commensurate with the effort put in – and if I am fair,  in all my other subjects I have received a lot of really good feedback.  All the comments from the marker were negative – large swathes of the text ignored – do I take it that if there is no comment then this was ok – or did the lecturer just not read it?  Skim and scan????

I was asked to put in subheadings – it is an essay and style guide by CSU states that we write it to flow.   I focused too much on Metadata – well… isn’t the whole point of module 1-3 about metadata?  I did actually write about the other questions and how can you answer ‘What does organizing information entail?’ without mentioning and examining metadata?  Perhaps because it didn’t have a HEADING it was missed.   As was the bit about defining information organising and why agencies have to organise information.  No comment about my bibliography. Bah. Bother. Arggh. Grrrr.

Bear (grrr) in mind also that apart from the modules about metadata, the book about metadata – there is no guidance about what to write in this essay.  Nothing.  And don’t even go there with the rubric.  Damn your eyes – I followed that sucker to the best of my ability.  This course is generally a set and forget thing.  One reprieve for part B was the inclusion of a guiding hand – a copy of a student’s work with cataloguing RDA.  This must have been because they knew if they didn’t include a tangible example of what is to be expected they could expect a phenomenal fail rate.

I passed – so I should not be so bitter  – but yet here I am, writing this in my blog as a cathartic release of pent up frustration and general venom letting, which I have been marinating in for the last 24 hours since receiving my carefully analysed marked essay.

If you forget the imposed levels of stress heaved out by concertinaing all the difficult SCISSHL and DDC stuff into 2 frigging weeks then expect an in-depth entire subject review of learning, evaluation and discussion about the future of description/organising of materials in school libraries in 500 words – then sure it’s fine.  Except it is not fine.  It is horrible.  It is unnecessary.  I gather that they hold off giving out the final items to SCISSHL and DDC stuff so that we focus on building up our skills and not just on the final assignment. Well – that just whiffs of bad course structure.  Whiffs, wafts and yay verily pongs of it.  Design the assessment so that it incorporates the other elements into it rather than hanging on to the assessment at the end like some sort of revolting malodorous surprise.  We are all teachers here right?  We get it.  Lift your game and design better assessment.  Give more guidance on what sort of emphasis should be in that essay – I followed the rubric and yet…

One person described this subject as having to learn a new language in 16 weeks – they are totally correct.  It is.  New language, new system, new webpage (Webdewey’s a bitch) and then synthesize all the research into an essay, then write a reflection on a EVERYTHING in 500 words.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The guidelines are waffly, rubric is vague, the marks are harsh and the feedback barely there.

I deeply dislike this subject – and by that I mean I dislike it as much as seeing Clive Palmer in a pair of XXS speedos at the beach doing deep knee bends.  It disappoints, revolts and I may need therapy after it.


About kblaich

I live in Melbourne, Australia, have one lovely husband, one delightful daughter, one bouncy son, lots of pets (2 dogs and 3 cats) and work at a primary school part time. I am currently studying my Masters in Teacher Librarianship through Charles Sturt University.
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