Tired of the grading game | The Triangle


Tired of the grading game

Photograph courtesy of Bman2011 at Flickr

After endlessly studying for an exam, you can’t wait to see if those sleepless nights, dozens of espresso shots and never-ending Quizlet flashcards have effectively paid off. Throughout the week, you obsessively check Blackboard to see if your grade has been updated, but heave an exhaustive sigh when you realize the taskbar remains blank. As the quarter approaches its end, you look again. Still no grade. How are you supposed to know how you are doing without having a grade clearly posted?

Grades are unmistakably the most imperative component of your college career. These numbers dictate GPA, scholarships, future jobs, and if you’re like me, your overall sanity — and yet, many professors fail to regularly update grades, even though they have a designated platform to utilize precisely for the cause. Many professors also fail to offer in-person feedback on grades, leaving hardworking students tragically uncertain.

So that students are consistently receiving grades on assignments they industriously endured, there should be more regulations in regards to inputting grades and sharing progress more generally. Students do their part when they complete an assignment and consequently, our professors need to be doing theirs by concluding this cycle through the implementation of a grade.

There should be a specified period of time that a professor has to add a grade. If a student submits an assignment at the end of week one and doesn’t know what they earned until week nine, then their overall learning process has been spoiled. Learning is all about scrutinizing our pitfalls so that we can improve them for the next time, and mimicking our strengths. Without grades, we are trapped in the same level, unable to advance our abilities any further.

Moreover, feedback is vital to the learning process and yet, it can sometimes be entirely void. How can you really learn if you never receive a marked up test, research paper or lab report that is clearly labeled with a grade? Just because the world is going digital, it doesn’t mean our hard work has to disappear in cyberspace too.

Currently, every professor practices a unique grading method. This can range from giving weekly grades to never entering a single grade at all. This lack of consistency is detrimental to the way that we learn. I have gone through courses where I never receive a single grade at all; I merely obtain a final grade the day grades are due, with no idea of how the grade was even calculated. For all I know, those papers and exams were never even looked at. I’d like to know if those hours of frustration, frantic screams and inevitable headaches were worth it.

Besides, it’s better if there’s a paper trail linked to the grade if questions later arise about the student’s work in the class. Not keeping record can cause vast confusion and irritation down the road.

Students are forced to be the ultimate puppets, robotically following a fated syllabus and crossing off assignments one by one. We follow these rules and stick to the plan — and our teachers should too.

While students themselves should certainly be keeping track of their efforts, as this is sign of a meticulous student, it can sometimes be awkward and embarrassing to inquire about grades, causing students to merely ignore the issue overall. It shouldn’t be a guessing game. College may be a time of surprises — but grades certainly shouldn’t be one of them.

Professors do already endure much stress while balancing many substantial responsibilities, but the issue of grades is too significant for communication around the topic to be so hazy. Besides, students are also significantly overwhelmed and being unsure about grades only causes more strain.

If I had to give a grade to the current way many Drexel professors update grades, they would fail — but unlike many professors that I have encountered, I would make that clear from the beginning.