Fixing a problem
Re: Bad results, Nov. 10
To the Editor:
This piece is in response to Dina Mashayekhi's letter to the Editor concerning the results of the MIT 026a exam. I intend, not only to give updated information about the results of the exam, but also to help calm the fear expressed about the course and the media, information & technoculture program itself.
The exam failure rate was exceptionally high, which prompted immediate action by the MIT Students' Council. The faculty was consulted by MITSC, as was the Ombudsperson. On Nov. 9, less than a week after the "bad results" letter was submitted, the marks were adjusted upwards. The average is now above a passing mark.
Some of my concerns with the letter are that it claims the "professor refuses to help" and it also makes reference to the faculty "weaning [sic] students out of its already under-populated program." First off, I have the assurance of Gloria Leckie, the under graduate chair for the faculty of media information studies, that the faculty has no intention of hindering people from entering the program the faculty is in fact trying to attract people into MIT. They are working on providing more inter-disciplinary options for people already in the program and are in the process of actively promoting and recruiting for the program on campus and in various high schools.
Prof. Tim Craven has made many concessions and has provided the class with guidance concerning the final exam. Information retrieval is dull, however, efforts are underway to make adjustments to the course. What must be kept in mind is that the faculty is in its infancy and the MIT 026 course is new this year.
This certainly does not mean that those in the course are expected to suffer grave injustices. What is needed is patience and understanding, as the kinks in this brand new course and the three-year-old program are ironed out. The FIMS cares about the success of its students and the MIT Students' Council is working to serve the students' best interests
MITSC First-Year Representative