Dear Susan: That Frustrating Computerized Grader!

Medical Transcription2 Comments

Dear Susan,

I’m feeling frustrated with the computerized grader.  It seems like no matter how I answer a test question (using a hyphen or not, capitalizing or not, one word versus two words, etc.), I can’t win!  Do I really not understand the material?

Soon to be a ‘Funny Farm’ Resident

Dear Soon to be a ‘Funny Farm’ Resident,

We know that sometimes the grader in the course drives you crazy! It recognizes a hyphen as correct in one place, but not in another; it allows a comma here, but not there; it likes a slash where you’ve put a dash; it leaves off a cap that you’ve put in–as well as many, many other discrepancies, most of which are pretty trivial. The orange and blue in the transcription text comparison also drives you crazy because of inconsistencies in style and usage.

The grader does not have a brain. It cannot exercise judgment. It is not capable of accepting several possible options. What it can do is simply compare your response with the response on a key. If there is a difference, it highlights the difference. If the difference is in the transcription key, it marks it with orange or blue. If it is on a test or exercise, it marks you wrong (even if it is just a stylistic difference).

One great advantage of the online test and exercise format is that you can go back and retake any test or exercise. If the grader marks you off because you put in a hyphen and it didn’t, go back and add the hyphen. Just make sure that the difference is NOT a significant one, and make sure that you understand WHY your answer was marked wrong. If you are sure that it was not, in fact, wrong, pat yourself on the back and move on.  An important part of your training is to learn how to distinguish between issues that are significant and those that are not.

I hasten to emphasize, however, that your final exam will be reviewed by a human being who does have a brain and judgment.  She will not mark anything off for issues that are simply stylistic.

CS Student Support

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  1. heidi March 18, 2014

    I am having basically the same issues.  Listening to the dictators is rather easy and getting the correct words is also rather easy, it’s everything else. Hyphens are added where I have never heard of hyphens being added before. Also, the grammar is disappointing.  A comma comes before the word “but”, not five or six words later, and one never starts a sentence with the word “however”. All of my transcriptions are word for word correct with the dictation, it’s always something to do with funny grammar or bizzar hyphens. It’s very frustrating and makes me question if I will get a job in this field. Is this a reputable school? I am starting to question the integrity of this course. Frustrating.

  2. Student Support March 20, 2014

    Heidi: As you know, punctuation can be very subjective; in other words, there is often more than one way to properly punctuate a sentence and it can still be correct. The reports in our program are actual medical reports that were transcribed by various MTs with different account specifics. There will be room for acceptable variation. You do not deduct points for acceptable variations. If you need further assistance with determining what is acceptable variation and what is true error, please don’t hesitate to contact us in Student Support at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We are happy to help you in any way we can. Career Step is well known in the industry for training successful medical transcriptionists and editors. Many companies prefer Career Step graduates because of the extensive, high-quality training they receive.



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