Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grade grousing...

I'm not the kind of person, or student, who is going to go grubbing for a grade. I suspect if I really don't understand why I scored poorly on something I'd go talk to the professor, and clear it up for myself. In general, I'm going to assume that my professors know more about the subject matter, and about, not only test-giving in general, but any content in particular usual pitfalls associated with it. Ideally, their exams will be designed with all of this in mind. In this realm my attitude remains like that of a major league pitcher: I may have lost some I think I should have won, but I eked out a few I really didn't expect, too. By the end of the season, er, semester, it probably comes out about right.

That being said, I'm not above complaining. Golly, no. And here's one where I'm not seeing both sides of the story, I'm siding squarely with the students. Here goes: if there's a question on an exam and, upon review, the prof says something like "Here's one that nobody seemed to get right," or "I wasn't expecting so many of you to miss this one," well, maybe there was a failure of communication before exam day. If, say, the same number of people got it wrong that should have gotten in right, maybe they followed some information or concept correctly to a conclusion, but it was bad intel to begin with. Maybe the folks who had NO idea and guessed, guessed wrong off of bad info, or no info, and onto the correct answer. Make sense? Just a thought.

For the record, I did fine on the exam, no need to raise a stink. Still, if a point here or there was going to make a difference in my final grade--or, you know, my overall sense of self-worth--I might reconsider.

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