On Not Giving an A++++++++++ Grade

Grade inflation is a major problem on college campuses, and it is the sworn duty of the faculty to carefully and cautiously grade all student work the same.  Students tend to expect an “A” grade just for showing up to class when, in structured reality, a “C” grade is what a student earns for merely meeting the minimum requirements for any course.  A “C” is a fine grade — but a lot of students seem to feel a “C” grade is the same as an “F” grade when it is not.  A “C” defines the middling ground for a course and that is the honest grade most students earn, even though faculty tend to inflate grading the middle just to keep the peace.

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Universal Pass or No Pass

We support the idea of dropping letter grades at the university level and implementing a universal grading system of “Pass” and “No Pass.”

Letter grades have become meaningless and students are terrified of getting anything less than an “A” on any project.

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The University Mafia: Roles and Analysis

In our conversation yesterday concerning — Why Do You Hide Your Identity? — we shared a great discussion about owning what you write online by using your Real Name.

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Are Students Getting Stupider?

In yesterday’s The New York Times an editorial asked if search engines, and Google in particular, are making students stupider because they acquiesce critical thinking for clicking on search return links and then copying the information they find without providing any sort of analysis:

In December, the National Center for Education Statistics published a report on adult literacy revealing that the number of college graduates able to interpret complex texts proficiently had dropped since 1992 from 40 percent to 31 percent.

I certainly agree high school and college students have no idea how to employ effective Online Research Methods that will result in a properly cited and “thought about” term paper.

When one creates an argument for a term paper, one must not start with the returns of a search result. One starts with a larger question in search of an answer.

Then that answer must be attacked in a methodical cycle of consequences that will shape and form an argument.
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Why Adjuncts Matter

The unfortunate universal history of American university education is — on the undergraduate level at least — students remain a bit dumber than their instructors from generation to generation. I include my early undergraduate experience in that wash.

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