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Open Forum on Plus-Minus Grading
Forum Attended by Students and members of Student Senate and Faculty Senate
October 10, 2012
Notes compiled by Keith Summerville, Faculty Senate President
Took poll – alpha cappa psi – our professors do not adequately use blackboard – more uncertainty about where we stand in our classes. Many hand raised about communication
Prospective students might not like / do not like +/- grading system – the rationale to go to drake is to get jobs and we need to understand that deflationary grade pressure created by +/- might harm our competitiveness in the marketplace.
Hovering around A/B range – getting a B+ punishes me for being borderline / close performance
At Drake we provide ourselves on being go-getters – putting more stress on the people that try to get A grades will decrease involvement in outside activities.
No one will convince me that an A- is ok – I strive to do the best that I possibly can and the time that I will spend studying for classes will take away from outside activities
Can we transition this program for existing students – if this program was implemented and phased in for future students then current students would feel some relief
+/- disfavors risk in the classroom because there will be a penalty for risk taking courses outside an area of expertise
Students that lack natural ability feel punished by +/- grading system – classes where grades are based on writing or other soft rubrics make assessment difficult
Numeric grading system? Something other than +/- ; what other options are being considered by Senate and why is this the only one being considered if that is true.
Feel +/- grading would be hurting top students.
+/- grading hurts top students more.
‘Students at Drake don’t feel comfortable unless they are stressing ‘– Drake mission statement is key to why I can here – I don’t want to have to shift my experiences outside of the classroom in lieu of experiences inside the classroom. This initiative would move Drake away from drake’ mission.
Different professors being able to use different methods would confuse understanding of GPA
Companies not interested in fine grain grading system – companies want experiences and research projects.
Drake university prides itself on having a 96% employment rate - +/- will hurt
Point of education is to empower the student and putting ability to assess in professors; new system will empower professors not students
+/- will make it more difficult to get into graduate school
Outreach – students in pre-pharmacy and business law 3-3 program are concerned about how this.
AOI classes should not have +/- grades because.
Leave grading system where it is if only 66% of faculty think it is a good idea.
Will this cost me $?
Will this create a system where faculty are backlogged with office hours?
Support for the idea – when I work harder I feel like I deserve a higher reward; not a good way to implement this – teachers do whatever they want anyway.
Taking classes outside your comfort zone is something that is attractive about Drake and part of the benefit of being here is taking risks and +/- harms that.
Two goals of being a student is learning and be able to apply learning towards a productive end. We need to make sure the conversation is focused on creating an environment that is most conducive to learning
If you are a student that has to take 18 creds per semester than the +/- grading system will hurt students more because of load
Grading written assignments is subjective in many contexts as well;
Assign rewards due through the letters of recommendation not +/-
Maintaining scholarships is something that could be compromised by the +/- system if GPA will decline.
Make it a lot harder to get into grad school –
Top performers will get A grades anyway – so this hurts the marginal top performers.
This will compromise the ability for Drake to maintain meaningful personal lives
Employer will take experience more than GPA
Discussion on a plus grading system – is there even a remote possibility of a plus system without minus
From a pharmacy perspective – pharmacy competition is large and competition will be exacerbated.