"A" is the most common grade given - do you agree?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by rmm0484, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    NPR has an interesting article about the prevalence of the "A" grade. See iGoogle

    Is excellence really everywhere? Be prepared to defend your answer (smile)
  2. CornCod

    CornCod Member

    As someone who has served as an adjunct in three seperate academic disciplines (Criminal Justice, History and Political Science), I can assert that "A" is my most common grade. However, to counterbalance things, I can further attest that the "F" is fast becoming my second most common grade. In a class of 30 students in "State and Local Government" last semester, I failed six students.
  3. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Eh, the way I always looked at it, I started with As in every class and it was due to my lack of effort if I earned anything less. Most teachers do not enforce a curve in my opinion.
  4. mark74

    mark74 New Member

    I did my undergrad and master's at Boston University. The article below says, "BU's student body complains mightily about grades and how hard it is to get an A. At a lot of schools such complaints defy reality. But at BU, getting a B average puts you right in the middle of pack. Graduating with a 3.5 makes you a star.". Despite the fact that I got mostly As, this is consistent with my experience, as I could see the grade distributions in many classes or talked to other students about their grades. I would say the most common grade given at BU was probably a B.

    On the other hand, I took one MBA class at another school and I think every student may have received a final grade of A.

    So, I think it depends a lot on the school.

    GradeInflation.com's Sweet 16 of Tough Graders
  5. Princeofska

    Princeofska New Member

    Well it is due to the adjunctification of higher education. If everyone has secure employment there would be less fear to properly grade.

    I am pretty hard when it comes to grading, I tell the students they should be proud of their Bs and have no problem keeping a C average in most classes. After all C means met all the requirements without going above and beyond.
  6. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    I would have guessed that “I” was the most common grade. (incomplete)

    I think you see so few “F”’s in online DL because the students give up and just stop doing anything. I would bet that this fact was not included in the study. The article link did not work for me so I can’t look at the actual results.

    I think a better statistic is degree completion rates and the amount of time it takes to complete them.

    I could concede not that this is a teaching issue but an administrative one, where 20 years ago if you just stopped going to class the policy was you got an “F”. Today I think the administrative policies have changed in the student favor and most schools give you an “I” to help save your GPA and encourage you to keep trying.

    I only had to flunk one student in my on-ground course at the community college last term, which was my first teaching term there. To give an “F” was a lot of work for me. I had to go find the students “agreement” they signed at the start of the course to show I had them sign it; provide paperwork demonstrating two ‘warnings’, send in a ‘student at risk report’ halfway through the course, and provide in their file all of the written feedback I had given them, plus show copies of their midterm and final exams.

    On the flip side, to give a student an A I simply typed it into a box on a webpage.
  7. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    In short, this is my experience as well. I've taught at a B&M CC for 18 years. Reason? From my point of view, there are very few students who are excellent, rather there are many students who simply "do" or "don't do" the work. I almost always have homework/quizzes/tests with answers that are either right or wrong. I have faded out open-ended questions and essays that require (allow) my opinion of their learning. Frankly, I don't want the headache....which is exactly what it is. (hats off to ENG101 teachers)

    The work of the classes I teach, being 100/200 level, isn't "hard" so an "A" is simply a student who has completed 90% of the work successfully. I always have about 40-50% of the students in this group. I'll get big chunk of "F" grades which are generally NOT students for whom the work is too hard, the fact is that they don't do it or don't attend classes. I'm easily looking at 1/3 of any class in this group. To say that this is a college-wide issue is an understatement since we now have several "categories" of "F" grades which attempt to "explain" why anyone would be given an "F" grade. ex: "FW" is a grade to give when they attend 1/2 or fewer classes. My classes only meet 16 times in a semester, so I give this out ALLLLLLLLL time.
  8. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    True, I have seen F, I, W, U, and WF all used differently.
  9. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Class average is almost always B or B+ in the course I facilitate. I would say that A- or B+ is the most common grade assigned along with a number of D- and F.

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