UoPeople's MBA - keep on keeping on

© J. Francois Barnard – January 1, 2022

I have completed the seventh course of my MBA this week. The last assignment in Operations Management was about motivating students to maintain excellence in academic papers and discourse in the forums. I found the topic apt in that this term has probably been the most difficult one for me so far. Not that the academic work was more difficult than other courses. Perhaps it was because 2021 was a challenging year. Maybe it was the pressure at work to complete infrastructure projects in time that caught up with me?

However, what has pressured me most this term was my strong desire to do well and the self-discipline to work hard on each project. But someone threw a spanner in the works this time.

keep on

And that happened to me.

One student in the group presented work of such poor quality that we could not accept it. About twelve hours before the deadline, I started to rework that part of the presentation and completed it by 02:00 in the morning. Apart from being physically exhausted, it was mentally draining.

The result was good, but the stress and tension were unnecessary.

When assessing written assignments, some peers might not agree with your viewpoints. To them, they are correct, and you are wrong, even if you cite your sources and reference them. For one such peer, my assignment was worth only 26/90, and for another 90/90. You complain about it, and the instructor adjusts the final grade. But you have to complain, which I hate doing.

In assessing my peers' work, I found several papers this term that were plagiarised, up to 73%. UoPeople has a set procedure for reporting such cases, and I followed it. I tried to bring it to the one instructor's attention, but she reverted to a sarcastic remark about being adults and we have to sort it out ourselves. I thought that was uncalled for.

I would support the idea of having UniCheck integrated into the Moodle Server so that students can get immediate feedback on their work. In my opinion, we would have much less of a plagiarism problem this way.

I look forward to the academic rest of the next three weeks. I need it to motivate myself to keep on keeping on!