Some subjectivity should be a part of grading

Some subjectivity should be a part of grading

We are told that in order to succeed, we need to fail. We are told that success comes from learning from our mistakes and that we grow as students and as people as a result.

However, we need to think about if Wake Forest fosters an environment that allows students to fail.

Is it possible for students to mess up? Can we bounce back from those mistakes and blunders?

I don’t know. I would like to think that if I do bomb a test, my grade in that class is still fixable. I would like to think that if I improved and showed that I’ve grown in that class, my professor would take that in to consideration when calculating my final grade.

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Adults tell us that when we first come to college, we will struggle and face challenges, but are we in an environment where it is okay for that to happen?

We are constantly in the “Work Forest” mentality and that never really stops. We get busy, we have many things to do and failing isn’t something we want to face.

But how can we learn from our mistakes if we do not have any room to do so?

Our course grades are defined by a our tests/quizzes, projects, sometimes homework and final exams. Nothing in there lends itself to failing.

We do not have the luxury of affording a C on a test — coming back from that is pretty challenging.

I do believe that I learn from my mistakes, but I want to have the ability to show that in my classes.

It is interesting to think about — quantifying learning — putting a number to our work.

Is it possible to measure our education through an objective graded system?

I’m not saying we should get rid of grades and just learn for the sake of learning, because we all know that the incentive to go to class would be close to non-existent. We all need a little motivation.

What I am trying to say is that our grades should not be confined to the exams we take and to the hard math of calculating grades.

Learning is not about the facts we can regurgitate on a test, it is about how we utilize the material covered to think deeper about ourselves, the world and the fields we are studying.

Reciting some term on a test to match a definition is not learning. That is memorization.

We should be thinking about the bigger picture — why is it that these terms are deemed important?

Why is it that my professor wants me to learn them?

It is about the connections within the material. Assessing our knowledge shouldn’t be limited to a test. I think discussions and interactive work show a lot more of what I understand than a test.

We “calculate” our grades, can we “calculate” our learning? Is it quantifiable? Can you say that a student who made a 98 percent on a test is smarter than a student who made an 80 percent?

Do these scores show who is a deeper thinker and who will thrive in the real world?

Or maybe a student did poorly on one test, but did well on others. Should that one test be valued as highly as the syllabus said?

I always get frustrated when professors say that “in college, I got a C and I turned out great!”

Well, nowadays our society puts so much emphasis on our grades that getting a C is not really an option. What needs to be understood is that we are in an environment where our grades are the most important thing. So we should make those more reflective on our capabilities.

I think that it is important to have grades and to say that each test is worth “x” percent, but I also think there is value in acknowledging the growth of students.

Professors should consider more than just test and project scores for grades — what does the student contribute to class? Or how have they grown throughout the semester?

A little subjectivity is not always bad. As long as we know where to limit subjectivity, it can be helpful in measuring a student’s grade. Being in a community that promotes this type of environment will come a long way.

Having a little bit of leeway to make mistakes and fail will actually help us succeed later.

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