Grading advice

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proftowanda:
Stick to the syllabus as planned in all things, including the grading formula aka points for the test.  Students who did what they were told to do need not be effectively penalized -- which is the effect of establishing a new standard now for what constitutes 100 percent.  But students doing more than asked can be rewarded:

Create a separate category of "plus points" for extra effort in the course, and not just on the test.

If the grading formula already includes an amorphous area for effort, improvement, etc., this is that category.

If the grading formula does not do so, think through what "plus points" can do:  Compensate for loss of points on a later test, an assignment, attendance, etc.?  Allow a student to skip a repetitive assignment, once their mastery already is evident?  Etc.  (I have used the term "plus points" to not use the term extra credit.)

That is, it's not good practice to effectively change a syllabus and grading formula, after it is set -- and opens up the potential for grade appeals, as this could be adjudged as the number-one no-no of being "arbitrary and capricious."  However, students do not tend to complain about extra points, waivers of coursework, etc.

blackadder:
I agree with burnie. My grading scheme is such that good work is a B. Go the extra mile and you are explemplary and earn the A. Do average/okay work and you earn a C. Less than that is pretty much failing or "unacceptable for college" level.
This gives me wiggle room for the student who clearly worked hard, was creative, and had an outstanding product in the end.
For example, my grade rubrics have a place for the synthesis of scholarly literature. Use either the textbook OR an outside class source and that's a B. Do both with multiple sources each and that's an A. Ultimately it is their choice and I'm up front about what the outstanding work level is.

melba_frilkins:
Quote from: proftowanda on February 07, 2013,  6:42:06 PM

That is, it's not good practice to effectively change a syllabus and grading formula, after it is set -- and opens up the potential for grade appeals, as this could be adjudged as the number-one no-no of being "arbitrary and capricious."  However, students do not tend to complain about extra points, waivers of coursework, etc.


This. I did not mean to imply changing a grade scheme in-course. I meant for next time around.

zuzu_:
You can reward the students with specific, positive, sincere feedback about how you were wowed. It means more than you think.

proftowanda:
Quote from: melba_frilkins on February 07, 2013,  7:34:09 PM

Quote from: proftowanda on February 07, 2013,  6:42:06 PM

That is, it's not good practice to effectively change a syllabus and grading formula, after it is set -- and opens up the potential for grade appeals, as this could be adjudged as the number-one no-no of being "arbitrary and capricious."  However, students do not tend to complain about extra points, waivers of coursework, etc.


This. I did not mean to imply changing a grade scheme in-course. I meant for next time around.


Please know that I did not think that you did so, nor did I have your post in mind.  Ms. Melba Frilkins' mentoring  always is impeccable as well as admirable.

Mine was just a caution to a "brand new assistant professor" about norms in the profession, on campuses, etc.

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