Hot answers tagged

267

One really wants to say that the vice-chair is an idiot, but I will refrain. The policy is idiotic in any case. I've taught at places in which nearly every student excels on every measure I could devise. Why would I want to pit one student against another for the purpose of an artificial "average"? They weren't average. If you have the twenty best people (...


262

You asked for a yes/no answer (which, as you've discovered, has its disadvantages) and got one plus some other stuff. You should grade the yes/no answer and ignore the other stuff. If you like, you could add a note like "You got lucky! This is actually because..." The whole point of yes/no or MC questions is that you grade only the answer, and assume that ...


255

You should give zero for the answers in question. You are grading what the student handed in, not what s/he potentially could have handed in. The logistics are just as much part of fulfilling an assignment as the knowledge. It would be unfair to the other students to be more lenient on this particular student than others. If you wish, you may give the ...


223

I think that if you would allow full marks for just yes/no without an explanation at all, then you should allow it here. Otherwise the question is flawed and can't be properly and fairly graded. But a note to the student would be good, also. To be more precise, if it is possible to answer a question with inconsistent parts it isn't a valid question for ...


218

Have each person grade different questions, not different students. Consistency in grading is important, and it is unfair to the students if their grades depend substantially on the allocation of their work to a grader. For this reason, if you must split grading duties with another colleague for a particular assessment item, it is best to split the grading ...


177

You seem to have the grading scheme mis-targeted. When you make peer review part of your grading scheme you grade the review not the paper reviewed. Failure to do the review should be reflected in the reviewer's grade not in the author's grade. The criteria I use for grading reviews are along the lines of Does the review correctly identify strengths and ...


176

Let the grade stand, but point out your error. The principle I try to follow is that students shouldn't be negatively affected by faculty mistakes (or that such effects should be minimized). I wouldn't suggest adding an additional assignment to maintain the grade, since this is effectively another kind of penalty. But I would suggest being transparent ...


171

Wait for two days, and if she doesn't give me an exact delivery date (which she probably won't), just give her a fail grade. Given that you already agreed to this extension, this is the only option you have. Do this. Honestly, you should not even have agreed to this extension. I understand that you were under stress when you agreed to it, but students ...


158

As an instructor, when I find myself in this situation, I invite the student to make an appointment to speak with me privately in my office. During that private meeting, I will discuss his/her current performance in the class, and point out the likely consequences if he/she does not submit the required work. I will advise the student as to what he/she must ...


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 ...


142

As an outsider this seems ridiculous. I think a quick email to the chair of the department saying that you have an advisee who is worried about BIO302 (or whatever the number is) and the running component. It seems reasonable to ask if that is actually a requirement (which it clearly is, but the department chair may not know it) and if it is, what course ...


140

It sounds like you've agreed to write a letter so I think you are committed unless the student releases you from your commitment. (Personally, I'd have said no in the first place and explained if asked that, based on their behavior, I could not honestly give a favorable recommendation. But that ship has sailed.) But what you haven't agreed to yet, I hope, ...


115

Since you ask, specifically, about legality, I'll say that it is unlikely that it would be a matter of criminal law anywhere, though, of course, I can't know the laws of every jurisdiction. But it could well be a matter of civil law and if this were known could easily generate a lawsuit against everyone involved. I think that a person would be very ...


112

At most institutions, the last day to add a course is set up by the institution, not the professor. We have an obligation to honor that, which means allowing students to enroll, with full full privileges, up to the last day they're allowed to. Giving 0's for assignments they've missed is inconsistent with that. I prefer to simply ignore previous ...


110

I usually say that my rule for regrades is like the NFL's rule for replay challenges: there must be "indisputable visual evidence" that the original grade was incorrect. For instance, scores were added incorrectly, or a correct answer was marked wrong. If the score was a "judgment call" (for example, I deducted two points for some error and the student ...


108

Not a definitive answer, since I’m a postdoc with comparatively limited experience of such conflict situations, but I do have a few suggestions. They aim to: maximise the chance of getting better grading without ruffling too many feathers; give you solid documentation if you do end up escalating the complaint; minimise the embarrassment in case it turns ...


107

If the class is about microbiology, the students’ grade should depend on their knowledge of microbiology, and only on that. (Edit: to clarify, “knowledge” covers things like lab skills and other things that have a connection to microbiology but aren’t strictly theoretical in nature. But not running. Definitely not running.) I’ll assume based on OP’s ...


105

I never had issues like that but I've heard the following solution by a colleague: The students inspect their works in the presence of the professor of TA. If they have any complaints they have to write them down and hand them in. There is never any discussion going on, but only written complaints are accepted. All written complaint are treated carefully and ...


97

If I understand right, you are penalizing students who did nothing wrong, because others were supposed to peer review their work and didn't? And you didn't bother to grade your own students' essays? Nothing personal, but if I were your department chair I would see to it that this came to an immediate end. Students' grade should be based on their own work, ...


94

No, you don't need to reply, but you should make sure that you retain all evidence for your decisions in the event the student complains to some higher authority. Retain the email thread as well. You've already said it was closed. Stick with that unless your chair or other such people force it to be reexamined.


93

Sometimes a student's failure is a teaching success. The lesson is just not the one you wished that you were teaching.


93

Should I just tell him to talk to the instructor, and that my job is just marking? Yes. There's no point in getting into an extended argument with this student. The student thought his answers were correct and you explained why they were not correct. Since you've denied the student's appeal of the grade, the next appropriate step is generally for the ...


91

The first thing to note here is that sleeping in such situations is often not a voluntary action, but a physiologically unavoidable response to the situation the body is in - many people die every year after falling asleep at the wheel of a car. I don't think you'd describe the results of that on other people in the car as "rude". In general, if you are in ...


89

No, you should not confront the lecturer again ("reopen") over this issue. That would not be an efficient use of your time. You've talked to the course instructor. She has explained to you her justification. Presumably she's observed both cases of giving and not giving feedback for the final in the past (you have not). You do not have the power to compel ...


88

Don't worry about it. No one's going to come after you for failing to turn in an essay in some random course. No one's ever going to check and, if they did, they probably won't care too much. Should you turn yourself in? No. There's absolutely no reason to turn yourself in. You've done nothing wrong. The professor is the one responsible for assigning your ...


87

Is there perhaps a cultural element to this situation? I was once in the reverse situation: I was studying mathematics at an Australian university, but my professor was Russian. He marked all students very harshly, and we all lost a lot of marks for not spelling out things that any other lecturer would have accepted as obvious. But if we took our ...


86

I strongly recommend you start with whatever the policy is in your syllabus. Most syllabi contain details about grading, points allocation, etc. By starting here, you can avoid any claims of "unique treatment", given that everyone received the same instructions. That said, it sounds as though your student has a unique personal situation causing him to have ...


86

I know from personal experience that it's very frustrating not to get proper credit for knowledge that you think you demonstrated correctly, so let me start by saying I sympathize with your situation. Now let me address your questions: Is it justifiable to reject an entire answer because more was said, without even partial credit? To give a literal, ...


81

From a mathematical point of view, the problem that they are trying to solve with a policy that attempts to enforce a maximum/minimum average class value is the wrong problem. Statistically, you will have plenty of variation from class to class as to good classes and bad classes. If the general guideline is that you want an "average" student to receive an 85,...


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 ...


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