grades

Dot Physics

Category archives for grades

And just suppose you had no grade

It would be nice if I could come up with a good rhyme for grade to fit this title. One of my brothers is a biochemistry faculty at Appalachian State University (hint – he is the one with the same last name that I have). We were talking (and surprisingly agreeing) that grades were dumb.…

You thought I was going to talk about a problem that math teachers could use, didn’t you? Well, maybe math teachers can use this. (note: when I say “teachers” I really mean “learning facilitators”) It all started when I read this valedictorian speech from Erica Goldson. Here is part of it: “I am now accomplishing…

Allegory of the Grade

I have been thinking about grades lately and I am pretty sure they are dumb. The main problem is that it seems that many many many people (politicians, parents, students, administrators, some other faculty, and zombies) think that the grade is the THE THING to worry about. Really, it is just a pale representation of…

I imagine that would be silly

Suppose there was an imaginary university. (is that statement redundant?) Let me call this TIU (The Imaginary University). Also, suppose TIU offers summer courses. Further, suppose there is an instructor teaching 2 sections of lab during the summer. Here is a communication that instructor might have received. Dear Person Teaching a Summer Course: It appears…

A note about the end of the semester (I really should have posted this a few weeks ago): sometimes I get students that come in and say they are not happy with their grade. It is not unusual for them to come in right before the test, but it seems more common to come after…

What is a grade?

Grades are all over the place, but what are they? Well, I guess there are a few questions. What is a grade? What is the grade supposed to be? Why do we give grades? I think the grade is supposed to be a measure of a students’ understanding of the material. Probably everyone would agree…

My Two Jobs

Really, I have many jobs. But in this case, I am talking about my two jobs inside my one job as learning facilitator. I like to call myself a learning facilitator rather than a teacher or a professor because I can’t make people learn (that would be teacher). Professor would imply that I am professing…

Graduation Rates

The current push in our state is to improve college graduation rates. Who could argue that is a bad thing? Having more students succeed in college is a good thing. The problem is assessing the performance of the state universities by looking primarily at graduation rates. Why? Simply – if the goal is to just…

Think Thank Thunk is a relatively new blog from Shawn Cornally, a high school math and science teacher. I have found his posts to be quite entertaining. In Shawn’s latest post, he talks about grades. You know I like to talk about grades. Shawn puts teacher into two groups in regards to their ideas about…

Grades: curve or no curve

Should you grade on a curve or not? If you are student, the answer is clear: go by whatever the instructor does. Otherwise, you have a choice. I don’t like to tell other instructors or faculty what to do because I respect their freedom. For my classes, there is no curve. Why? Well, the question…