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Thread: A's on the rise but SAT scores fall

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    The same problem would be posed. A grade curve measures the students' performances in comparison to each other, rather than on an absolute scale. Thus, a person's grade could change depending on the performance of the others in the class with him, rather than purely on his own merit.
    Yes, but if I don't compare my students to each other, my own perception of what level of performance is appropriate could be badly skewed. What should a student in a sophomore level survey course in literature be able to do? It probably has something to do with the performance of other sophomores. I can't expect them to perform as well as they probably will later on, say in a senior seminar or a graduate course. Left to my own devices, an instructor might fail everyone simply because they don't perform as well as the instructor would in the same situation.

    If I thought a whole class were "dogging it" out of laziness or an abnormal lack of skill, I wouldn't apply a curve. But the curve keeps ME honest. Everyone would love to teach better students than we actually get. Unless you're teaching at a TIPS school, undergraduates probably will be disappointing--they aren't grad students.

    If I weren't a tough grader to begin with, this wouldn't be an issue.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I've never been asked to report on a student's attendance, and nearly all students at my university get federal financial aid.
    I take attendance on all of my college students, whether it is a HC generic business course or a core course. It must be a individual college requirement. Attendance is referenced in the syllabus with statements similar to this..."Six absences over a 12 week period results in automatic withdrawal from the class" Nursing courses, it is even less..such as 3 days. If PELL requires 90% attendance, how are you in compliance? How can they learn anything if they are not present? Even with my online courses, if a student doesn't trigger attendance by submitting an assignment, they have 8 days to trigger, if they do not, they are withdrawn.

    Back in the 80's, I don't remember attendance being taken at all..probably because many of my classes were 50 students or more..but when I attended my nursing program after, attendance was very important. Same with my Master's and I completed that in 2009.

  3. #33
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    I give out a plethora of A's when I have to grade.

    Especially if its a dumb assignment and its obvious they put effort into it.

    Everyone grades differently though.

    Many grade very mechanically, make this many errors, count them up, cross reference it with their grading card, and that's your grade.

    I think that's a stupid way to grade.

    I suppose I am screwed if I ever get challenged on a grade lol.
    Why do you brag about your incompetence over and over? You don't give somebody an a because they put effort into it. That's lazy and unprofessional. In my book, I relayed the story of the kid who failed every class but got an a in algebra. When I went to the teacher he was stupid enough to say ,"but she tried so hard. "But a a means above average, superior.

  4. #34
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    A teacher at our school once told me "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" referring to parents that complain. When they did she would change their kids grade. Wasn't long before parents caught on and most did it. Makes me wonder in the age of the "helicopter parent" how often this happens?
    Hopefully not too often. Very often helicopter parents create and opposite reaction from teachers

  5. #35
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    They have to be, parents are insane. When my son was in high school, there were groups of parents who wanted to sit in on the first week of class. Helicopter parents. Plus now with the internet and forums parents go on and rate teachers. "Johnny needs better grades for college, which are the best teachers for that?" kind of stuff.
    When I Keynote to teachers one of the first thing I say is the greatest change I have seen over all the years I was in the classroom , is the parents. Years ago they would say, "I'll take care of that"..now it's"you're not motivating my child
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  6. #36
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    It's the same thing with mostly everything. Humans are assholes. Admininstrators, teachers play politics. THinking they have to give out all these A's to claim "see, "Im doing a good job. Actually education be damnged

    Also like DA offices, they have to win cases, to win office, or to move onto other political positions. Who cares if innocent people get harsh sentences, as long as their numbers look good.

    Probably works for a lot of other things as well.

  7. #37
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I'm not sure how an institution would prevent someone from grading whichever way they want. The instructor of record is the only judge of what's a fair or just grade. It's possible to file a grade appeal and win, but only if you can prove that the grading process was either capricious (the student's work didn't matter) or arbitrary (the grade reflected something other than the quality of the student's work). Very difficult to win a grade appeal. This is part of the reason they give senior faculty tenure--so that they can't be intimidated by students or administrators or whomever about grades.

    I use a rubric for grading and I make that rubric available with the assignment, but there's still a lot of subjectivity in any grading system where knowledge is transmitted through words.
    I taught middle school and I would give tons of small quizzes throughout the term. I would let them remove two bottom grades. It gave me a very clear picture of their work. I let them remove the bottom two grades because we all know sometimes we are just off. But if there are 15 A's and one F I know the F is not valid
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  8. #38
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    I take attendance on all of my college students, whether it is a HC generic business course or a core course. It must be a individual college requirement. Attendance is referenced in the syllabus with statements similar to this..."Six absences over a 12 week period results in automatic withdrawal from the class" Nursing courses, it is even less..such as 3 days. If PELL requires 90% attendance, how are you in compliance? How can they learn anything if they are not present? Even with my online courses, if a student doesn't trigger attendance by submitting an assignment, they have 8 days to trigger, if they do not, they are withdrawn.

    Back in the 80's, I don't remember attendance being taken at all..probably because many of my classes were 50 students or more..but when I attended my nursing program after, attendance was very important. Same with my Master's and I completed that in 2009.
    My book was translated into Chinese and I recently got an email from a Chinese elementary school teacher who taught first grade. He was having a very difficult time I asked him how many students were in his class and he said 53. He had no assistant ..i didn't know how I could help him
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  9. #39
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    We are talking about looking at the same transcript and saying NO in Canada and Yes in the US. Obviously they know an A in the US doesn't mean much so they look at scores of tests they are given like the MCAT or PCAT. Even then the standards or bench marks must be a lot higher in Canada than the US. What does that say?
    Which leads to an interesting question. We often hear companies in the US say they need to bring in talented visa workers from overseas because no one here in the US is qualified. Do you think that means they know US students aren't as good as their overseas peers?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    I take attendance on all of my college students, whether it is a HC generic business course or a core course. It must be a individual college requirement. Attendance is referenced in the syllabus with statements similar to this..."Six absences over a 12 week period results in automatic withdrawal from the class" Nursing courses, it is even less..such as 3 days. If PELL requires 90% attendance, how are you in compliance? How can they learn anything if they are not present? Even with my online courses, if a student doesn't trigger attendance by submitting an assignment, they have 8 days to trigger, if they do not, they are withdrawn.
    I take attendance too, but the policy is totally up to me. I don't know that Pell requires 90% attendance, and I'm certain that there is no way for them to check. That would involve requiring instructors to report the individual attendance rates of students. I'm not even sure that's legal--it might be a violation of HERA.

    Back in the 80's, I don't remember attendance being taken at all..probably because many of my classes were 50 students or more..but when I attended my nursing program after, attendance was very important. Same with my Master's and I completed that in 2009.

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