- Apr 2017
This leads to the second point I once made: that students no longer need to actually read the material to get impressive grades, which contributes to both student and administrator scorn for the affected disciplines. This point caused some push-back, since professors and fellow students noted that if I wasn’t reading the material, it was my own fault for not getting the full benefit of the course. I agreed, but countered that if the difference between my reading very little of the material instead of it all was a 10 to 15 percent bump in my final grade, what did that imply about the value of said material to the course? Srigley argues that less than 20 percent of his students even access the weekly readings for his courses, largely because they know they don’t have to – “they can get an 80 without ever opening a book.”
Again, this implies that the professor should care. One of the principles behind my grading system is that I don't. People are welcome to do whatever they want and they get the same grade, unless they do exceptional work.
This also implies that grades are somehow the currency of learning and that if you are getting good grades without learning, then you are somehow "winning."
This is a misunderstanding of grades. They are really the bits of an expert system that converts qualitative evaluation of individual performances into a final score that helps people categories graduates. So they are secondary to the actual learning and performance.