Wednesday, June 17, 2015

destinies determined

Just finished grading my second set of final exams, plugging the scores in, calculating final semester grades, and mapping those natural percentages against the accursed artificial curve. I've told my students not to write me grade-grubbing emails beseeching or demanding grade changes; such pleas will fall on deaf ears. I've done what I can to minimize the impact of the curve, but inevitably, some students are going to get burned.

So let's talk about the burned students—those crispy critters.

In the Monday class:

• Two students with natural "A"s will be receiving "B+"es.
• Three students with natural "B+"es will be receiving "C+"es.
• Two students with natural "B"s will be receiving "C+"es.

That's seven people affected—afflicted—by the curve. In a class of fifteen, that's almost half the class that'll be coming away very unhappy. Can't say I blame them, but I really hope they don't turn around and blame my ass for this, because it ain't my fault.

In the Wednesday class:

• Four students with natural "B"s will be receiving "C+"es.

That's not as bad a situation as Monday's class is, and Wednesday's class has nineteen people in it, so 4/19 is a smaller fraction of unhappy campers than Monday's 7/15.

Tomorrow, I've got my last two classes, both of which have nineteen students. My goal is to grade all thirty-eight exams, enter all final grades, then go to Dongguk's Seoul campus on Friday to take care of all my end-of-semester obligations. Friday promises to be an insane day; I'm going to try to be on campus by 9AM, and I plan to work until 6PM to get absolutely everything done.

In other news: my Thursday classes were lackadaisical in their text-messaged responses to my attempts at organizing two end-of-term parties, so both parties have been canceled thanks to an overall lack of enthusiasm. The kids have only themselves to blame, but at the same time, my wallet is quietly breathing a sigh of relief.

It's been an insane week. Saturday can't come soon enough.



John (I'm not a robot) said...

It's insane that half the students will not receive the grade they actually earned. I'm unclear on what drives the grading on a curve policy. Is it some misguided attempt to avoid grade inflation? If so, I'd reckon the cure is worse than the poison.

Kevin Kim said...

Grade inflation = yes.

Cure worse than poison = big yes.