Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Grading time

Everyone who has taught in University is probably aware of the phenomena of students demanding higher grades as soon as the semester is over. This is one of the parts of the job I hate most. Here are a few of my stories from this semester:

Minutes after submitting my grades I get an irate email from a student who got an A-. His midterm grade was an A, his first paper was an A-, and he had no idea what he got on the final (which was an A-). But for him, that adds up to an A, and he was wondering why he didn't get one. (His spotty attendance didn't help.)

A second student got a B on an oral presentation. It was a generous grade. She sucked. But complained to me, and insisted that she deserved at least an A-. I had to go to the bathroom when she caught me, so I caved, and was determined to take it back from her on her final paper. I did.

I generously gave a student a D because most of his final paper had been plagiarized, though he was otherwise a pretty good student. His average counting the F on the final paper was barely passing. After the first angry and confused email, I sent him to my department chair, so I would just not have to bother.

An enthusiastic but not very good student got solid Bs on everything he handed in. When he received a B as a final grade, he emailed and asked what he got on his final paper. I emailed back that he got a B. The student was incredulous. He was sure that he would nonetheless end up with an A as his final grade. He did not explain why.

I had three students so far send me emails inquiring why they were awarded Incomplete grades. All of them should have known that they did not submit any final paper which I had been going on about for the last third of the semester.

Another student handed in two papers which he had cut from the internet and pasted on to a piece of paper and submitted to me. He did not understand his grade of Z, which is what my college awards for cases of academic dishonesty. I sent him to the provost and the dean of students for an explanation. I have not heard back since.
Added 5/16/05:I think this last student put something very nasty up about me on Oh well.

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