Students of a professor who caused a mini-revolt last fall when he kicked a late student out of his class have now had their failing grades changed to passes after they complained.
Ryerson’s department of computer science re-graded students’ marks after a petition and several formal complaints against professor Anastase Mastoras, who called security after telling a student to leave his class for arriving late.
“The quality of the instructing was unreasonably low compared to what was being asked in the final [exam] and a lot of people failed and did very poorly,” says one student in Mastoras’ class, who wishes to remain anonymous. “By the looks of it, the re-grading improved the final letter score (so) most of the people who failed due to the marking errors in the midterm and final, have passed.”
The department of computer science looked into the grades of the third-year students in Mastoras’ CPS 510 course after students complained in November. The Ryerson Computer Science Course Union filed a complaint on behalf of the students after the Oct. 26 incident.
Now 16 of the 23 students who failed the computer science database class passed with the re-graded marks.
Mastoras is now on leave, although it is unclear if that is related to the incident.
The Ryersonian obtained documents that reveal that the overall class average was previously 49.5 per cent, and increased to 51 per cent when students’ midterms and final exam marks were regraded–a 1.5 percentage point increase.
The department reviewed the students’ original grades and found mistakes in how their grades for the final exam were converted from numbers to letters. The department created a new conversion table and compared the newly calculated letter grade against the originally assigned one. Each student received the better of the two letter grades.
As for the midterm marks, with the exception of one student, the grades given were found to be accurate, and those marks remained largely unchanged. Students’ projects were not examined because the department could not retrieve them.
In their complaint in November, which included a six-page letter and a petition, students requested a new professor to teach the course and they wanted their low grade not to affect their academic standing. The students also claimed they shouldn’t have to pay the full price for the course if they decided to retake it.
According to Sophie Quigley, the undergraduate program director for the department of computer science, Mastoras has since taken a leave of absence. It is not known how long Mastoras will be on leave for.
Imogen Coe, the dean of the Faculty of Science, said she could not comment on the details of Mastoras’ absence due to “privacy and confidentiality.”
Mastoras has not responded to several attempts by The Ryersonian to confirm why he is on a leave of absence.