Thursday, 20 December 2007

Where do they teach this stuff?

Profgrrrrl demonstrates how to use a spreadsheet program to calculate grades. This seems like the sort of skill that ought to be taught somewhere in the curriculum, but I don’t recall ever being told to use a spreadsheet in school except to calculate basic descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) for physics labs in college in some DOS version of Quattro Pro.

Of course, I’m the sort of person who grades things with denominators like 15, 45, and 60 and who created 11 nested IF formulas in Calc to assign letter grades in my classes this semester, so I’m clearly weird.

Update: Dr. Pion also responds to the initial post that started it all.

Extra credit

Professor Karlson and Dean Anonymous both inveigh against ad hoc extra credit. I make a general policy of only giving extra credit on an “open to all takers” basis, and typically I build into my grading structures things that eliminate the need for extra credit, such as dropping low quiz grades and weighing exams so higher-scoring exams count more in the final average.

Now I just need to figure out the secret to taking attendance without having to deal with the stupid paperwork associated with absences for the spring.