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117 votes
Accepted

My assessor is giving me spelling advice - but he's wrong

First of all: ask for a third opinion, just to be sure you are right. Anyway, the nice thing about science people is that they are usually convinced by evidence, even when it goes against their ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
69 votes
Accepted

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

The problem with your proposal is that, despite you framing it as a reward rather than a punishment, it is trivially easy to reframe it as a punishment instead of a reward: "The exam is graded ...
Jeff's user avatar
  • 16.3k
64 votes

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

From a game theory standpoint, it makes little sense. If the cheater gets caught, they get 0 anyways. If they do not, they get a (presumably) better grade from cheating, plus potentially the "no ...
fredq's user avatar
  • 859
53 votes
Accepted

How can I politely reply and educate students with unreasonable requests?

Let's assume your teaching practices are the best possible. Students want you to change your teaching practices. You should respond by explaining to students why your practices are effective (do ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
52 votes
Accepted

Discouraged from giving A's, but students are doing excellent work, what can a professor do?

Take special care defining the rules, previously, and stick to them. You should have a specific list of objectives and the associated grades. This is implicit on tests, more explicit on projects. For ...
Fábio Dias's user avatar
  • 8,742
46 votes

How can I politely reply and educate students with unreasonable requests?

First, let’s offer a bit of sympathy where it’s due: students are a population that’s suffering right now in some unique ways due to the pandemic. Being a student can be very stressful at the best of ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
36 votes

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

I have one major question: Is it ethical to peg the entire class's bonus on the potential bad actions of one person? (a sub question might be: do you imagine this would work?) It is exactly as ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
36 votes

Can exam questions be removed for being too difficult after students have sat the exam?

One worry I have in such situations is that removing some of the questions has a different impact on different students. If there is an issue with a question and some of the students spent an ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
30 votes

How can I politely reply and educate students with unreasonable requests?

I agree with JeffE's comment: just say no. Students already know why these requests would normally be unreasonable, they just need you to explain that these norms haven't changed. So, taking your ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
29 votes
Accepted

Is it true that scores > 80% are effectively unachievable in the UK?

I have to admit, as somebody coming from a different academic system, I also find it quite odd that in the UK system, 70% is enough for the best grade ("first"). As a result, there is a ...
penelope's user avatar
  • 12.3k
23 votes

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

This is a form of collective punishment. All forms of collective punishment are deeply unethical. In fact, they've made it into a class of behaviours so unethical that they are banned by international ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
23 votes

Can exam questions be removed for being too difficult after students have sat the exam?

I don't have an evidence-based answer, but I've always taken the position that if a preponderance of students miss a question either the question was faulty or my teaching was faulty. Either way, it ...
Bob Brown's user avatar
  • 27k
17 votes
Accepted

Lecturer giving automatic top mark to the first person to submit

This type of marking is a clear deviation from every set of marking guidelines I have ever seen. Intentionally introducing procedural irregularities is something that can get faculty in trouble. This ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
17 votes

Can exam questions be removed for being too difficult after students have sat the exam?

[UK-focused answer] If the academic marking the exam, the internal moderator, and (when the external examiner visit eventually takes place) the external examiner all agree to it, then yes, it can be ...
Daniel Hatton's user avatar
13 votes

Dealing with unprofessional/erroneous textbook and exams?

I have an MA in religious studies, so maybe I can offer a bit of humanities insight here. The main question you should be asking yourself is, what will I be doing with this degree? If you are hoping ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 651
11 votes

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

It got me wondering if it is possible to create a grading scheme based around reward instead of punishment. Yes. The way to do that is to stop grades being seen as the goal of education, and teach ...
Areopagitica's user avatar
11 votes

Is it true that scores > 80% are effectively unachievable in the UK?

No, though it depends on the course and probably depends on the university. In some courses e.g. pure mathematics it has to be possible to get 100%. Perhaps in an MBA at your university it is very ...
Oliver882's user avatar
  • 3,435
10 votes

Unfair Peer Assessment on a Group Project

You may not like this answer, but I think you should settle for equal grades. The situation you describe is very common and so are the disputes you have wound up with. The expectation was that all ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
10 votes

Can exam questions be removed for being too difficult after students have sat the exam?

I think in this case it might be better to adjust the grading curve instead. Suppose your exam has a theoritical maximal score of 100. After grading it you notice a few questions were too hard and ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 7,197
9 votes

To what extent can guessing part of a multiple choice test lower your average score?

Before answering a question, calculate your expected value. If it's positive then you should guess, otherwise you should not. Expected value is how much you expect to get from the guess. It's ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k
8 votes

Should "extra credit" questions allow students to get more than 100% of the marks?

My experience with American grading systems has been that the extra credit typically means an effective higher percentage is possible, i.e., 100% + 10% extra credit = 110% max on the assignment. And ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 189k
8 votes

Designing a credit-by-examination exam

There is a lot missing information here that makes it difficult to provide an fully informed response. For example, the subject, whether this is a theoretical or application class, the way it is ...
Darrin Thomas's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Online Quiz Times Given Last Minute

The professor has been jerking you around (whether intentionally or not). For now at least, you will need to check your email more often during the target dates. It is fine to present your concerns ...
aparente001's user avatar
8 votes

What will replace math exams in 2020/21 given covid-19?

Here are some examples of how it is done at the University of Copenhagen for the two courses that I have exams in next week. One course has a written exam: We are given a problem sheet that we write ...
Alice Ryhl's user avatar
8 votes

Timed text editor

Qualtrics surveys allows this. Create a new survey and just combine a textbox and a timer and choose "show timer" and speicfy an auto-advance time. This would also allow you to include ...
Jeromy Anglim's user avatar
8 votes

Does it make sense to reward the entire class with better grades if (and only if) no cheating is detected?

This is nice thinking, but you may be overlooking some aspects. I'd like to first address the 'will it work' bit more than the ethical consideration, because unfortunately, I think it won't. A ...
AppliedAcademic's user avatar
8 votes

Is it true that scores > 80% are effectively unachievable in the UK?

This will depend significantly on the university and the course. From my experience of teaching computer science at two UK universities, coursework marks in the 80s and 90s were very much achievable ...
kaya3's user avatar
  • 2,147
7 votes

Discouraged from giving A's, but students are doing excellent work, what can a professor do?

Retain copies of student work. Use it as a basis for a discussion about department standards versus your standards. If your expectations align with those of your department, and if you have students ...
user53451's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Designing a credit-by-examination exam

I have done this "credit-by-examination" as a student. This was called "challenging a course". The precise rules can vary between different schools (colleges/universities). There is commonly a ...
TOOGAM's user avatar
  • 2,119

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