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275

It feels like one of the deadly sins but it's actually a physiological need... If it's a physiological need because you were sick at the time of the exam, then your school should have a policy about how such situations are to be handled. While I sympathize with your plight, it sounds like the problem was that you were too tired and just slept through the ...


207

Speaking from personal experience, I advise you to accept the consequences of the events that occurred and move on. There are, and will be, many important situations in life that require you to be in a certain place at a certain time. Punctuality and accountability are, quite arguably, even more essential in the workplace than in academia, where missing an ...


174

It sounds like you're still in finals, so the first part is containment – you likely have other exams to be ready for and should probably focus on them. Next, as from @aeismail's answer, it's likely that the instructor is in a position to decide. If it's important and you have the time to spare, you might want to review your school's rules to confirm ...


156

You are responsible for teaching the students to the best of your ability, and to judge their capacities to use what they have learned. That judgment is made based on their grades. So you have several things to think about here. Are you teaching the best you can? Teaching does not mean "downloading facts", as I'm sure you're aware. It means "...


145

As a professor, one has to assume that all past exam questions are available to students. Some student organizations debrief members after exams and capture the questions for such an exam bank. Some professors realize this and take action accordingly, not reusing questions, or not using enough of them to matter substantially. Others think, probably ...


143

What you describe is, in my opinion, horribly unethical! Yes, past performance is often a predictor of present performance, but there are so many other factors involved as well. What if a student did poorly before because of any number of reasons, but have since stepped up their work, caught up, and really mastered the material? Or what if the student has ...


130

I don't want to report them, I probably don't have the guts to do it, especially because it's such a socially accepted practice. A "Snitches get stitches" mentality will not solve your problem. Cheating is unethical. You know that you are "at a disadvantage" if you keep your ethical behavior and the others don't. Cheating is pretty easy though: one has ...


126

I think that you explained the situation very clearly and sensitively in your third paragraph, and that you should send a message to the student along the same lines. All you'd really have to say is that while you of course sympathize with the student, her performance on the final exam makes clear that she did not gain sufficient mastery of the course ...


121

I have a lifetime of experience in academia in the US, and in all of my experience your instructor's claim is completely without merit. There is no regulation or cultural norm that requires students to keep their grades confidential from other students. Moreover, comparing assignments or exams for learning purposes and/or to confirm that the grades have ...


104

So, you put it on your CV, the future employer does what employers do and phones the institution to check details of awards, years etc. BOOM - the institution does not confirm you were "top of the class" as that is just not done. Now the future employer is confused - what else may be wrong on your CV AND your referee is pissed at you as well. Do you ...


100

Let it go. You discussed this before, he made his arguments and it is unlikely that he will change his mind. It isn't only up to you to make a good argument for the points, but the professor himself will have judged the points again when you discussed them and will now be convinced that the points are fair. Begging even more for the points will probably ...


98

If this was not mentioned in the syllabus (or at least announced prior to the papers being returned), this is totally inappropriate. While it may be foolish for students not to keep their graded work (at least until the end of the term), if it was not established as a requirement before the students got their papers back, it cannot reasonably be made a ...


95

Take the example of a medical student. Do you want to pass someone who does not have the necessary knowledge to treat patients correctly? It is your duty to make sure that only the ones who know what they are doing will pass. This may be less strict in other subjects but the principle is the same. --- EDIT --- Another example where this becomes clear would ...


95

I think the point is, or should be, that having diagnostic question be "secret" is perverse. That is, why not tell people directly what we want them to know? And why not let them see representative examples of what we want them to do? Sure, some students are not so much interested in learning as in the grade... but should we corrupt the scholarly aspects ...


90

Explore all other options first. Seriously. Talk to professors whom you think to possess some common sense (especially your adviser and the department head if they are among them) explaining clearly what your situation is and what your objectives are and ask for the advice on how to proceed. Resort to the F option only if you see that there is no other way. ...


87

TL;DR: be consistent Speaking from the other side of this: I once struggled severely with one math class in particular and ended up taking it 3 times. I failed the first two times (the first try was a dud - I was a terrible student; the second time I gave it a good try but found the subject very difficult) then the third time with my studiousness greatly ...


86

I agree with the other answers that this may be an artifact of the histogram. May I humbly offer a few alternative ways to plot these grades? All of these essentially show that your effects are likely due to small n and possibly an essentially discrete underlying data generating process. R code: require(hdrcde) require(Hmisc) require(denstrip) require(...


85

Send him a polite email explaining that, while you completed the assignment on your own (which I am assuming to be true), by stumbling upon the solutions in advance you had a hard time doing anything different. Professors are people--he should recognize his mistake and appreciate that you were forthcoming. Chances are he'll reassign the project or discount ...


80

A professor who I used to work with once gave me an explanation that I found quite useful for understanding the purpose and philosophy of grading. Universities, he said, must always struggle with a tension between two educational goals, illumination and certification. Illumination means the intellectual development of the student, bringing them a deeper ...


77

Assigning grades to fit some "optimal distribution" is misguided. We don't want to maximize the entropy of the grades in a particular course. It's not a very useful measure of a "good" set of grades. To quote from an answer by Anonymous Mathematician: Strictly speaking, Shannon entropy pays no attention to the distance between scores, just to whether ...


75

You won't get into trouble if all your students earn grades of A. It has always been my hope that I'd have a class with all A grades, or even all A and B grades. It has never happened. If you "give out" all grades of A, someone, perhaps your department chair or the committee you mention, is going to ask you to explain yourself. Your course (presumably) ...


74

With only three weeks you can already tell they are bound to fail in five months? Yes, that is too discouraging. There is a middle ground between "you will get an A" and "you will most certainly fail", i.e., If you want to pass, you'll need to strengthen this and that and do a lot of exercises on the material of the class. I know August looks far away, ...


72

Sleeping is a physiological need shared by every other person in your class - who did get to the exam. If you had a medical condition, you may be able to get special dispensation for that. Expect to need formal documentation from your doctor though. Grading purely by exam may not be the best way to assess the course, but the fact is that they've chosen to ...


64

If any student feels disadvantaged by this, then you will have an uproar and complaints to administration. You describe a system in which they depended on the actual thing you built not some "instruction" you gave. I would guess that you are stuck with the thing for this group of students, both practically and ethically. Otherwise grading will seem chaotic ...


62

If I were you and my primary concern was the PhD application (but also not being bugged for the rest of my life if I cheat), I'd ask myself the following questions: How limited is the number of available PhD positions in my university? Are all those cheaters going to sign up for such a commitment as PhD[1]? Where on that imaginary unbiased leader-board do I ...


61

"College athletes" is much too broad a brush. The kind of double-standard you're referring to is mostly focused on a much smaller group of men's basketball and football players at Division I schools. These are essentially full-time professional athletes. A lot of the very best athletes among this group do not stay long enough to graduate anyway. I also ...


59

In this kind of hearing, evidence will be paramount. "I know I did not cheat" isn't sufficient - that's just a denial. You need more, e.g.: Can you show that you could not possibly have known about these 2 reports? Do you have drafts of the report, preferably with time stamps, as you were writing it? Did you work with anyone else? If so, can they vouch for ...


58

There's nothing you can do to change your grade on a completed degree. What you can do is do well in your job so that no one cares about your old grades, which it sounds like you've done. So congrats on that! The real issue here isn't your grades, it's that you're still feeling a lot of anxiety about your college experience. I'd suggest talking to a ...


54

In the US, federal student privacy laws (FERPA) dictate that schools restrict access to student educational records, so that only those with a "legitimate educational interest" can access them. Most universities interpret this such that the student's academic advisor can automatically see their full transcripts in the student record system, but not every ...


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