The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Grading Break

Posted by Seeking Solace |

This morning was rather busy. Husband is home with a nasty cold. Thankfully, he is not one of those men who are completely helpless when they are sick. But, I can't help babying him just a little. :) I took the Boy for a long walk so that he would be quiet most of the day. It's funny how every patch of snow or every tree and bush has a scent that must be sniffed and or peed on!

Finally, I entered grading jail. I decided to work on my law class since I had already graded their final exam and all that was left was their research papers. Some of the papers were quite good. One student did a great job analyzing the Napster case. But, others went from average to just plain awful. They either lacked real insight, were full of errors and typos, or had serious issues with citation form. One student chose to use footnotes instead of what I asked them to use.

That's right, I said footnotes.

Now, I know that both MLA and APA allow footnotes of endnotes, although they discourage their use. But this paper was entirely cited using footnotes. This paper was filled with footnotes. The only place that I have used exclusive footnotes in in legal citation. That always bugged me during law school and when I was a practicing lawyer becuase I am sure the legal profession could come up with a better citation form.

(Note: This is an undergraduate law class. If they were in law school, I would ask them to follow legal citation style. )

Also, I am starting to get the emails asking for grades. I don't post or give out grades. I even have a sign on my office door stating that I don't give them out prior to the student receiving his or her grade report. The one and only time I did give out grades was a complete disaster. I had students complaining and wanting to challenge their grades before Christmas. The ones who didn't do a lick of work all semester want to do extra credit. The grade whores cry because they 'deserve" an A. The truth is, I just want some peace of mind between the time I submit grades and the time the students get them in the mail. That way, I am rested before the next round of whining begins.

Do you give out grades or post them before the students receive them in the mail? Talk among yourselves. I am going back for another round.


dr four eyes said...

No way should you post or give out grades (via email or over the phone). The only way you should give out grades is in person or in writing (i.e., you hand them the paper w/ the grade on it). To do otherwise is a FERPA violation.

I love that about FERPA--it allows me to respond to students' emails about grades by saying that federal law prohibits me from giving them their grades.

Jake said...

FERPA helps and my college forbids faculty to give out grades lest students have unpaid bills, overdue library books, or parking fines.

I just tell them I'm sorry but college policy forbids it.
If your place doesn't have this rule, I give you permission to appropriate it.


Weezy said...

I don't do it either. I put a note on the board during the final. Grades will not be handed out via email. Although...I ended up writing on the board, grades will not be handed out. Took a while for me to add the via email :)

I'm avoiding grading jail-- will probably go to Barnes and Noble later to do my time...

Seeking Solace said...

Dr. Four Eyes: Thanks for mentioning FERPA. I completely forgot about that. (Should I turn in my law license?)

righteous babe said...

I just don't have time to give out grades, though I didn't realize there's a legal reason not to! It takes time, its annoying and I have better things to do. So I just ignore the e-mails altogether.

Mad Hatter said...

Ugh...grade-grubbers are horrible, and the pre-med ones are the worst of the lot. I once TA'd a class full of pre-meds and you wouldn't believe the number of them who descended on my lab demanding more points on their midterm. One kid even resorted to "Please? Pretty please?"

RageyOne said...

wow. footnotes? really? i haven't used those since i was in high school. i much prefer using APA style without them. they disrupt, to me, the flow of the paper.

i agree, don't give/post the grades. they should have kept up with how they were doing in the course. therefore, they should know what they needed to do on the final paper/project/exam in order maintain or achieve a higher grade. they have to be responsible at some point for their own learning.

comebacknikki said...

Wow, he has some seriously big ones if he thinks he can get away with that!