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Mon, Dec. 10th, 2007, 07:39 pm
Why I Hate This Class

(The one I’m sitting in right now.)

Teacher: “Grades? No, I don’t grade on the content of the assignments you turn in. I just download them and delete them. You get full marks if you handed something in.”

Me: “So … you don’t … read … our assignments?”

Teacher: “I don’t think you should do the work to get grades! You should want to learn!”

Me: “You don’t read our assignments.”

Teacher: (gleefully) “No! Never!”

Me: …

Yeah. At least I’m not paying money for this class, but it’s still immensely frustrating. And it’s required for our department. God help us all.

For the curious, my philosophy on grades is that they’re best used as a formative, not an evaluative, assessment. In other words, the value of a grade is in telling you how well you’re learning and giving you feedback on what you need to be focusing on better. When I assign grades to my own students, each grade comes with at least a page of commentary about what the grade means and how they can improve. I also don’t ever give grades without the opportunity to redo an assignment, or to improve one’s work, or to engage in a learning process.

But … I do read my students’ work and pay close attention to it. Anything less is just insulting. And I’m fucking insulted. Gah!