Thursday, May 24, 2012

0168: On Failing Grades

#education #teaching #firstyear #grading

I will be brief. If a failing grade must be given, and there are times when they must. Make it recoverable. A mentor once told me, and I agree, “An F is an F, you can recover from a 65. You can’t come back from a 33. You’ll never make it back from a 0.” I was curious about them not doing their work at all, which would deserve a 0. Her reply: “Make ‘em do the work. Nag them until they do it. Make it easier to live having done the work than not. Same with F’s. Don’t let ‘em make ‘em.” Her advice has served me well.

If the F is not recoverable, then the learner will shut down altogether. Problems arise from failing without having a chance. There’s time to learn. F’s also require more work on your behalf. Of course, there are some who won’t work, try, regardless, keep at ‘em. If an F is all they’ll work for, then let it stick, but never without a fight.

While I’m not a fan of grades, grading, and the like it is a part of our system, and an external motivator that needs to be given value in order for it to succeed.

I was somewhat brief.

Do share anything you have.