Earon Scores "A" on first HW-MBA Exam

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Earon Kavanagh, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. George Brown

    George Brown New Member

    Hi George

    Hi George,

    Another George in Australia - welcome to the forum. Which uni do you work for?


  2. Ike

    Ike New Member

    The word "invigilated" used by Professor Kennedy roughly maps to "proctored" in the United States. In the U.K, proctors are called as invigilators.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Congratulations Earon! I won't pretend to understand the UK system of grading, but I do understand what "A" means. Best of luck for continued success in the program.

  4. Yes. The word "proctored" was a little disturbing to me when I first came to the U.S.
  5. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    When I look at the root words, I see your concern. I wouldn't want to be proctored either.

    Greek - proktos - anus

    Latin - procurare - government official

    Are we truly sure of the correct root word for government official?
  6. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Not knowing the dinfinition of invigilated it would scare me.:)
  7. John you are quite right,
    and I humbly consider myself inviligated (sounds a bit like a crucifixion, don't you think?). As you might already know, I carry one of the most ancient Irish surnames, and therein lies my choice. The Scots like bagpipes, whereas we like uillean pipes. Anyway, to be honest and fair, I was saving the Scotch in case I failed. But thanks for the tip on the H-W Scotch. I will certainly purchase a bottle when I pick up my new EBS golf-shirt (complete with EBS branding). And thanks even more for mentioning EBS to me back in 1996. I think the program is brilliant. But I won't get any points from EBS for drinking their Scotch or wearing their golf shirt on the fairways. The only marks one gets at EBS are the marks one earns on the final exam, or perhaps from tearing out one's hair just prior to the exam, and while waiting for one's report card. Inviligation, man!!
  8. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    Let not do a poll on this subject. I feel like I am being proctored when I hear the pipes.
  9. Re: Re: Re: 68% ir great? Not in this State...

    I haven't got a clue where Peter is coming from on this topic, except perhaps, his own ego (and that is not necessarily positive or negative). So yesterday I posted a question on the EBS Watercooler board about the EBS marking system. I received some replies. What follows is (1) my question (2) response from Prof Kennedy, who precides over the Negotiation course and wrote the text, and (3) a guy from Australia of all places. Happy reading,

    (1) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From: EARONKAVANA 20-Jul 18:50
    To: ALL 1 of 7


    I've suddenly found myself involved in an internet debate over the EBS marking system compared to other marking systems. My recent 68% on HRM (June 02) equals an "A" grade. An individual residing in Australia has challenged that mark as not being worth an "A". I think it is, given the rigour of the EBS exams. I'm not sure what mental paradigm my friend from OZ is operating out of. Can anyone comment as to how EBS comes up with this unique marking system when so many other universities determine an "A" to be 80+. I'd really appreciate some information to help me understand this.
    Vancouver, Canada

    Options Reply Delete Edit

    (2) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From: GAVINK 20-Jul 19:45
    To: EARONKAVANA 2 of 7

    3880.2 in reply to 3880.1

    Hi Earon

    Your correspondent in Australia would have some difficulty in comprehending if you told him/her that it was 80 degrees in Vancouver and he/she immediately responded that this was 'impossible' because water boils at 100 degrees centigrade! Of course, this would suggest he assumed that the only temperature scale was centigrade (Celsius). If he/she was ignorant of the existence of the Fahrenehit scale we would excuse his/her ignorance. What always amazes me, however, is that people make definitive statements about things on the basis of limited information. If only we could be so sure of ourselves that we knew everything then our pronouncements would never be embarassing!

    The EBS system is not 'unique' in the sense that we are the only institution using it. All British universities (many being older than the Commonwealth of Australia - some even older than the Colony of New South Wales, founded in 1788) use a marking scale that is different from some other countries, including North America and, apparently, some (all?) institutions in Australia. I too was amazed when American academics (of which several have written EBS Texts) told us it was not uncommon for MBA students in the USA to score in the high 90s and that a 65 was regarded as a poor result. But I took the introduction of new information, which did not fit my own, as an opportunity to look into the matter (and not as an opportunity to pontificate about something I knew nothing about).

    That is where I realised that we were using two different scales, much like temperature. Water freezes and boils at the same physical 'temperatures' whatever scale we use. A first class performance, likewise, is the same whatever grading system we use.

    Ask your correspondent to accept this fact. He/she needs a translating scale to compare like with like. In the meantime they might wish to embark upon a period of silence whilst they contemplate their faux pas. Otherwise they might come to believe that a flight costing 20,000 dolars can't be right as it is 'too expensive' because it only costs 4,000 dollars in Australia (or whatever the exchange rate is). They might want to check whether we are talking about Hong Kong dollars - or US dollars - or Canadian dollars, or 16th century Spanish dollars. If he or she still does not understand this point, you may tell them they would never get even 68 on the British scale (perhaps not even 3 in an EBS MBA exam.

    Prof. Kenendy (EBS)

    (3) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From: MrT2000 20-Jul 20:43
    To: EARONKAVANA 4 of 7

    3880.4 in reply to 3880.1

    Hi there,
    Marking systems are always subject to debate -- a classic is the one used by APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society)
    If you hand in a blank sheet, you score 265
    If you get the whole paper correct, you score 330
    You need 300 to pass, there are 75 MCQs.... go figure that one out.

    As for your cobber/Sheila in Australia, different universities in Australia have differing scoring systems -- I hold post-graduate qualifications from the University of New England, Armidale, NSW and the grades you receive rom UNE are as follows:

    HD = High distinction
    D = Distinction
    C = Credit
    P = Pass
    PC = Conditional Pass
    PA = Conceded Pass
    Notice how there are no 'numbers' involved...
    In my view, HW MBA exams are the toughest exams I have ever taken on, and the discipline required from the DL approach is substantial.

    Attempts to downgrade HW MBA achievements via throw-away comments from the cheap-seats don't wash with me...best to get fair dinkum and take one of these courses head-on -- it would be an immediate reality check, particularly when the exams are subjected to the level of rigour HW insist upon.

    Additionally, you need to compare 'like-with-like'

    As an aside, you may be already familiar that we 'down-under' like a drink or ten...we have a rum here called Bundaberg Rum ( ..'Cleans out your insides and puts hair on your....)

    One of the products here is Bundaberg OP rum - OP stands for "Overproof"
    By law in Australia, the minimum strength required to 'qualify' as overproof is 100 degrees of proof, or 57.1% alc./vol
    This is due to a scaling measure, which relates the archaic Sikes Degrees of Proof scale (theoretical maximum = 175 degrees) with the modern Alcohol by volume (theoretical maximum = 100%), defined by Bartholomew Sikes (Prof. Kennedy would most likely know the details....)vis a vis "Imperial vs Metric"

    Now, in the United States, they also like a drink or ten...
    Wild Turkey bourbon comes in an OP (overproof) variety as well.
    The US Proof scale has a theoretical maximum of 200 degrees.
    Overproof in the US is also a figure greater than 100 degrees Proof (as it is in Oz)
    This just so happens to equate to 50% alcohol by volume.

    Now, we have two(2) "imperial" scales, which translate to differing values on a "metric" scale, yet each claim to define what Overproof is

    US scale - Overproof = 100+ degrees or 50.0% alc./vol
    Oz scale - Overproof = 100+ degrees or 57.1% alc./vol

    The Moral of the story
    From an academic perspective, if it is merely proof by degrees, then let's use the same scale, regardless of the qualitative description.
    This is of course near impossible...

    We can't do it with a global currency (in spite of our American cousin's best efforts), we have exchange rates to express the relationship between currencies.
    At the end of the day, a dollar -- or an "A"- grade -- in Australia differs from a dollar -- or an "A"- grade -- in the US (or Canada, or Hong Kong or New Zealand or Fiji), despite sharing the same description.
    Spending a NZ$ in Oz is difficult -- The Aussie $1 coin is bigger than the Aussie $2 coin; the reverse holds true in New Zealand, where the NZ$2 coin is bigger than the NZ$1 coin -- in terms of size and value, who is "right" in this case? New Zealanders think they take the guernsey on this basis...


  10. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

  11. George

    George New Member

    Hello George Brown

    You asked which university I work for, but unfortunately I prefer to keep that and myself annonymous. I, like a lot of my colleagues are quite critical of the decline we see in university education quality and pass standards in Australia. Once, when I was on a 1 year employment contract at my university I failed a high percentage of mostly international students as they did not meet minimum pass standards - I was then subject to intense pressure from some of the senior bureaucrats to pass them or it was insinuated I would not get another contract. Fortunately after some years of hard work I have gained a tenured position however they could make life hell for me if I was seen to be criticising the University.

    Enjoy your postings George - I feel you always present a fair and balanced view of things.
  12. Peter French

    Peter French member

    If you do exist ...

    Well, George, if you do exist, your name is not George, or you are ashamed of your H-W degree and hide it, or you are either:

    1. Steve Thollar of UTas - Peter Tucker can check that out, but you are safe - the UNE background guarantees that.

    2. Alf Law of Monash but you are stretching the truth as you are not tenured, but a sessional assistant lecturer.

    3. Jim Trotter of UWA, but also being an MD you don't fit the bill.

    But you are an Ozzie, or post from ozzie non faculty accounts, and may be who you say you are, or not, or maybe who you say you are [narrows it down a bit?] minus some embelishments.

    But you can sleep well tonight because the real George and I look after locals.

    In the meantime enjoy your day and if you are teaching finance as I am today, you will have an interesting and live topic from 10 o'clock.
  13. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Soon after we had become involved with the Heriot-Watt MBA in America, we got an urgent phone call from Edinburgh on the matter of setting up test sites. "What's the matter with you Americans?" asked Pamela Ferguson. "We faxed more than 50 universities asking them to be exam sites, and only 2 or 3 answered."

    "What exactly did you ask," I asked

    She replied: "The message read, 'Scottish university requires biannual invigilation services. Please respond to ..."

    Can you imagine this appearing on the main university fax machine.

    Well, at least they didn't ask for a proctorologist.
  14. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member



    How difficult was it?

    How much time did it take?

  15. John Spies

    John Spies Member

    Congratulations on your A mark. An A is an A is an A in my book! I have a couple of questions for you. Are you enrolled via distance learning or are you in Edinburgh? I assume it is DL, hence your posts on this board. Secondly, what is your background prior to HW? Your work experience, etc. that would have impacted your studies and your abilities in re: to business. I ask these things because I am thinking of enrollment and want to see if my background is suitable for HW's curriculum.
    I have spent many months is Dingle and miss Ireland as a whole very much, especially the fresh Guinness!! Hoist one for me!
  16. Jmarion

    Jmarion New Member


    Congratulations on the "A". I graduated HW in June 1998. 4 A's, 5 B's.
  17. John Spies

    John Spies Member

    since you are on the board, can you answer the questions posed to Earon? I am looking for an idea of what background successful H-W students have so I can compare with my own. thanks, John
  18. Jmarion

    Jmarion New Member

    HW Background

    I pursed the HW MBA via distance learning. I took the OB exam first, and from then on, took two exams per diet. My finest memory was taking Quantitative Methods, and Finance in the same day! (I'm joking of course...memorable, but not enjoyable).


    My first degree was a brick and mortar CA approved school, Ambassador College. It was more a ministerial training/finishing school for the Worldwide church of God. It was a BA liberal arts program with a major in theology.

    Since I didn't want to be a minister--and I needed to make a living, I started taking Cleveland Institute of Electronics courses, got a technician diploma, and then got a job at NEC repairing cellphones, and then after six months began running a manufacturing line.

    I got my AA from CIE, and then started my BSEET from Grantham College of Engineering, a DETC school.

    I graduated in 1994, and then began the HWMBA.

    I left NEC as an engineering manager, joined Glenayre Electronics as Director of Product Management for the base station business, rose through the ranks to Division President, and left in 1999.

    Am now President of Panasonic Wireless Design in Suwanee, GA (greater Atlanta), and am exactly halfway through my comps in the Capella University PhD (Organization and Management, with info technology management specialization)
  19. John Spies

    John Spies Member

    Thanks for the reply. I doubt that I will take those two exams together!! BTW, did you try to get any exemptions? I think I may try with Human Resources for various reasons.
    I think I will enroll after I finish my BS at Excelsior. Should be in about a month or so.

    thanks, John
  20. Jmarion

    Jmarion New Member


    No--I didn't try for any exemptions.....

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