Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Time to grade

I came across this thanks to our listserv: A's for Everyone! From a few months ago, but still a good read as we head into the pre-break grading season.

11 comments:

Maple Sugar said...

You mean I can't just throw the papers down the stairs and give the ones that go the farthest an "A", like everyone's been telling me to do? Damn. Somehow it seemed a whole lot less arbitrary than simply getting an A-shaped rubber stamp.

Stephen said...

Hey Maple Sugar, that is my technique!

Paul said...

It's the same at the high school level. I'm trying to break students of the harassment habit, so they won't bug you university types.

We had 6 salutatorians last year because they refused to weight the GPAs. We had to sit through 6 boring ass speeches.

I love this comment when a student gets a test back with a 'c' on it, "But I studied!"

greg said...

Paul,

you have high school students that care about their grade? Lucky dog.

Maple Sugar said...

I have HS students who are neurotic about their grade, whether they're AP or not -- even in Middle School. I have banned calculators from my classes (never mind how pathetic it is that they need calculators to figure out their percentage from a grade out of, oh, say, 20) because it angers me that they care more about the number than about the comments and suggestions. Also banned: the "whadjagets". One's own grades are no one else's business. And finally, class averages. Useful to me for ensuring consistency between sections and across years; useless to an individual student in determining whether or not she is improving. As Michael Thompson (an education consultant who specializes in dealing with hyper-achievement-oriented environments) says to parents when he speaks: "Half of your children are going to be below the average."

Duh.

greg said...

I have the opposite demographic in my classes: a handful (like 2 or 3 or 4) of students that really are concerned about what their gpa, etc. is, and the rest not too concerned with overachieiving or excelling. They are perfectly satisfied with simply passing or getting a C or B average because they know that they only need a diploma to get that job after high school driving a gravel truck for the local asphault company.

Anonymous said...

I only questioned 2 grades in college. the first time, I emailed the professor to see if we could go over the final. He said sure and HE set up the time and place; he didn't show up. I did this twice more, each time him apologizing for not making it. I sent emails the night before and the day of asking if the meeting was still on, each time being told it was.
The second time was a professor gave me an F. I say gave because they did not record any of my grades. (it was actually a class Dr. Tootle TA'd, but he was not my TA so i don't blame him). When I got the grade I emailed the professor, he told me to come in to office hours. I did (he was 45 minutes late) and asked why i rec'd an F. He told me because he had no grades recorded for me, even the mid term that I took IN HIS OFFICE (i also sat in the front row and told him what some of the questions were for the final). he said there was nothing he could do and it wasn't his fault.
I understand the frustration of some students, even though many are petty and I can see your guy's view, but some are legit and should be looked at.

-Marine II

Mark said...

I just finished a meeting with a student about the grades on his mid-term essays, both of which were poorly written (especially for an English major who "always gets A's), and neither of which had a good thesis. Even though he had no concrete complaints (other than "I always get A's"), I still looked over the papers a couple of times (while waiting a week and a half for him to come back) and broke down why he needed to write a thesis that had an overall argument for the paper, not just one part of it. And all I got from it was sceptical looks and the possibility of getting sent a draft to look over. Luckily, I didn't have to explain why I couldn't raise his grade after a month since the last mid-term.

Maple Sugar said...

You know, I find with a lot of people who say they "always get As", when you check their records it seems that somehow their vision deceived them while looking at their transcripts.

Report cards due in 2 weeks. Fun fun. Stephen - wanna take over my marking pile for me?

Stephen said...

I have 200 papers staring at me and finals next week. I am booked solid. Just throw them down the stairs.

Maple Sugar said...

Oh, I was asking if you wanted to throw mine down the stairs, while you were at it. :)