Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 3

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 3. It is misused to justify bias. As I’ve mentioned before, some teachers use participation grades to justify using their like or dislike of students as a part of …

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Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 2

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 2. It is nebulous. What exactly does participation mean? A strong criticism of participation-based grades is that participation itself is a nebulous concept. There are a wide …

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Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 1

There are better and worse ways to assess students and participation is no exception. Some teachers use a “participation grade” as a justification to assign grades based on how much they like students. Obviously, that is not a good grading practice. However, there are others who use participation to assess …

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Education

10 Tips: How Not to Grade

Teachers get swamped several times a year with grading, often under tight deadlines. Based on some recent interactions in my life, here are my top 10 tips (that you shouldn’t follow):   1. Don’t bother assessing students on what you actually taught them. When grading time comes, look for something new …

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Pedagogy

Assessment

My last post touched on assessment and as this topic has been overwhelming my life lately, I thought I should share a bit more of my perspective on this. Whenever I speak with other teachers about assessment, I’m reminded of an old joke: A drunk man is looking for his …

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Pedagogy

Gathering Evidence

The more I teach, the more I realize just how much overlap there is between teaching and scientific skepticism. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about assessment lately. There are many different forms of assessment and reasons for doing it, but when you really look at it, assessment is just gathering evidence. …

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Higher Education

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my last two semesters of teaching (my first classroom experience after grad school.) I avoid grading. I look upon it with dread and procrastinate as much as possible. But isn’t that normal? Don’t most instructors hate to grade? I realized it most strongly at …

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Higher Education

Professionalism 101: How never to correspond with students

Earlier today libarienne posted a link to this viral post on vitae, in which a number of (purportedly) real, actual, human professors respond to a fictional request for a grade change with all the high-handed, sneering derision they could fit into a few hundred words. Gilliel’s comment basically hits the nail on …

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EducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Grading, how do I hate thee?

In the past few weeks, we here at School of Doubt have blogged about graded homework, grading writing in science,and academic entitlement. The comments have been interesting, discussing how students expect certain grades just for showing up, how teachers may be lowering their standards due to the sheer pain of …

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A shelf full of books.
Required Readings

Required Readings: Bill Nye won the debate against Ken Ham, or did he? Adjuncts’ working conditions improve – Required Readings

Good morning everyone! Enjoy your Sunday, hope it’s not too cold for you, but just so you know, I’m basking in tropical sunlight! Bill Nye Ken Ham Debate In Depth Recap Synopsis and Who Won – but do creationists actually think Bill Nye won? Clash over worldviews – I doubt …

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