Asia SMU deploys strict protocols against bogus grades

SMU deploys strict protocols against bogus grades

Quick action taken after all 169 business students were awarded a distinction in their module.

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SINGAPORE-Universities in Singapore have always upheld their clean reputation of being uncorrupted. This includes meritocracy, where students progress based on the merits of their hard work. However, the recent incident of a professor giving bogus grades in Singapore’s Management University (SMU) has shocked many.

With SMU’s “strict protocols” when it comes to grading, it “takes a serious view when protocols are not adhered to.” This saw a series of stern actions taking place, after the Lee Kong Chian School of Business “picked up an anomaly in the scores of four classes taking a business capstone course” in early May when all 169 business students were awarded a distinction in their module, many of them in their final year.

According to a SMU’s spokesperson, it was found that all 169 students were given the same score and the scores have been “released unilaterally to students by the faculty member before approval was given by the School.”

This prompted an investigation from the school and after much deliberation, it made the decision to countermand the faculty member’s assessment, which is “in line with the University’s process where marks can be legitimately changed once they are submitted by an instructor”.

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This is “part of the University’s quality assurance process with respect to assessment and marking”.

Subsequently, the school enlisted the help of another senior professor to regrade all the projects submitted by all the 169 students in the affected classes, so as to award students their official grade.

“This Professor was deemed to be well qualified to regrade the projects as he has been teaching the same capstone course since 2014 and also taught two such classes in the same academic term. ”

The affected students were well informed of the matter and offered two options — to either keep their official grade, or convert their letter grade to a “Pass” grade.

According to the SMU spokesperson, in the latter option, ” the course becomes a pass/fail course in the students’ transcript, thus removing the impact of this course on their cumulative GPA.”

The students have since informed the school of their decision.

As for the professor in question, while he was not terminated, his contract, which ends on 30 June 2019, would not be renewed.

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