Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New policy

I think students who can't calculate their own grades should fail the course.

I'm not talking about a small flaw in addition here, but a complete inability to comprehend the way the grades add up, leading to a full-scale email war.

Dear StyleyGeek,

I see I got 73 on my final essay. Why is my mark for the course only 68?

Stu Dent.

Dear Stu Dent,

As you will see from the syllabus on the website, handed out in the first week of class, the distribution of marks are as follows:

Assignment 1: 10 marks
Assignment 2: 15 marks
Essay: 15 marks
Weekly homework: 10 marks
Final exam: 50 marks.

Your marks were as follows: [details redacted to protect the clueless]

Therefore your final mark (add these all up) comes to 68%.


Dear StyleyGeek,

I thought you said the essay could count for the whole mark of the course?


Dear Stu,

No, this is not the case. What you may be confusing this with is the policy about the final exam. If a student submits all work on time, AND the final exam mark, as a percentage, is higher than the marks of all the work added together, then the FINAL EXAM MARK stands as the final mark. This is also explained in the syllabus, along with some examples of possible scenarios. Your final exam mark was only 58% (29 out of 50). Therefore it is lower than your total mark of 68% and this policy does not apply to you.


Dear StyleyGeek,

So why don't I get 73%?

Stu Dent.

God, I wish course transcripts had an option where the lecturer could just enter in the grade column: EPIC FAIL.


quietandsmalladventures said...

oh. wow. how did they get into college? i could calculate grades before the end of grad school. oh wait, they parents probably did that for them all these years! that means, you'll probably be hearing from mommy or daddy soon....(i actually can't believe some parents of undergrads will call and complain about they kid's grades, but i've heard stories.)

Joanna said...

Poor kid. Maybe English wasn't his/her first language?

I've seen kids bring their parents to enrolment day. Ok, kind of understandable for undergrads (although I was left to fend for myself). But this was on postgrad enrolment day...

The Scientist said...

at least it's not a maths major....

Anonymous said...

Oh, how superb! Someone else was obviously using the family braincell.

I followed you back (generally, no nice sentence starts that way) from your fabulous verses on Flotsam. I liked!

StyleyGeek said...

Joanna, it's true, it's not. But honestly, the grade distributions were in a table. In numerals. And if Stu understood enough of the sentence underneath to see that SOMETHING could count as the final grade, Stu should have been able to match the word EXAM in that sentence to the word EXAM in the table of grade points.

I'm pretty sure most people could do that in a foreign language even with worse language skills than Stu's (which are actually not at all bad).

Hairyfarmerfamily: thanks! And welcome! I loved that competition at Flotsam's. I had a great time reading everyone's verses.

StyleyGeek said...

Oh and HairyFarmerFamily, I just went back to see which verses were yours and they were some of my favourites too! I am totally in love with the line:

"I’d go farty farty farty every time you have a party"

Because I'm three years old at heart. Also, I had a dog like that.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe your students are clones of my students. Or vice versa. Either way, somethin' bad happened during elementary math class.

Reynold said...

Any chance the kid was just yanking your chain?