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Emergent questions about grades


Grades are in.

Why is it that there are more thirteenth-hour questions than there were eleventh-hour ones?

I mean, I know I try to put students at ease when they needn't be alarmed, just because some of them are very antsy, and some are just a little insecure. Some students should be worried, though! To wit: grad students on the brink of a C or undergrads on the brink of a D or F should hit the books (or come and check on missing homeworks or their absolute standing) before the final. It's easy to say "I didn't see a grade posting, so I just guessed (read: assumed) I was okay"; it's quite another to know you only turned in half the assignments or turned the hour exams in half blank and then count on the curve.

... right?



May. 22nd, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Extra credit
Absolutely. I give extra credit, and people have squeezed themselves over the A or B line with it, but even when it amounts to (say) 5% of the overall grade, it has never been enough to cancel out a failing exam score. All my exams are worth 10-30% of the grade each: hour exams 10% each, midterms usually 15-20% (in my data mining course, it was 20 questions, 20%, which is pretty serious), and final, 25-30%. I don't give quizzes.

In my CIS 560 (Database Systems) course, extra credit problems on the final were worth 25 points out of 250. I did allow students who volunteered for one community service project in database development to write me a paragraph on what they did, and get exempted from one homework and 1/3 of the term project (with 100% on that part), but anyone else could have just done that homework. You know what, though? A lot of students did the community service project, and almost no one who didn't do it turned in more than 1 of 3 parts of the term project. Just a data point.

I feel that in courses 300-level or below, possibly all undergrad courses, no one should pass who fails the final. It's not rocket science, people! (Well, even if it is - especially if it is - people should pass the final.)


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