Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Je ne suis pas

SLU’s computer system still refuses to believe I am teaching classes this semester, so I can’t enter midterm grades for them.

Mind you, I think assigning midterm grades is a waste of everyone’s time—and, from a faculty member’s perspective, counterproductive, as they are by definition imprecise and incomplete yet function as a ready source of student complaints—but I’d at least like the opportunity to abide by the rules and assign them nonetheless.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Alfie Sumrall wrote @ Tue, 24 Oct 2006, 6:36 pm CDT:

I think freshmen should receive midterm grades, but that’s it. Obviously, most of these kids have never been on their own, so it probably doesn’t hurt to let them (and daddy, assuming he’s footing the bill) get a glimpse as to how they’re doing. I know it’s not going to be a precise measure, but it’s better than nothing.


The problem (from my perspective) is that students can get a false sense of security from the midterm grades, since they’re often based on easier assignments and usually omit key course components like research papers. So the conversation in December/May usually goes something like “but in October/March you said I had an A, and now I have a B- even though my exam grades are about the same.”

[Permalink] 3. Alfie Sumrall wrote @ Wed, 25 Oct 2006, 10:09 am CDT:

Simple enough, give them all Cs or Ds. Those that are happy with a C or D will continue doing what they’re doing; those that aren’t will work their asses off.

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