Opinions: Grade Scale

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by rcreighton, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    Up to this point in time, I have been a straight 'A' student in my MBA classes. I just finished my latest class in which I received a 89.8%. The graduate level scale says 90% and above is an 'A'. I received my first 'B' today. My question is should I have received an 'A' by rounding up 89.8% to a 90% or am I being too sensitive about this and should just move on?

  2. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I think it's ridiculously not to round up in that case. Not to round up suggests that you do not believe that your grading contains a margin of error of more than 0.2%. I know I wouldn't be that confident.
  3. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    That does suck and if I were your professor, I would have rounded it up. That said, it IS in line with the school policy. I'd email the professor to see if there is any chance for an A but if not, I'd move on.

    They might not have realized how close you were to an A unless you point it out. My guess is that they simply enter each assignment grade and let the system figure out the final grade based on that. They might also be a stickler for policy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2010
  4. mark74

    mark74 New Member

    I don't think it is "ridiculous" to give a grade based on the stated guidelines. 89.8 is less than 90.

    Also, I do not agree with your margin of error comment. Perhaps, the professor feels that based on the course and grading structure, 92 is an A and had already built in a margin for error. How can we know this?

    Furthermore, why should there be a margin of error around A instead of B? By the same logic, should a 90.2 be rounded to a B?
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    In that case, why not round down .2%?

    If the policy is clearly laid out to begin with, then I don't see the problem with sticking to it.
  6. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    An 89.8 is a GREAT grade to receive in an MBA course. You should be proud :)
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I'm a fan of transparency, personally. If the instructor believes that 92 is the true cutoff for an "A," he or she should state this.

    The reason I wouldn't round down is an issue of fairness, similiar to the presumption of innocence in the court system. It is preferable, IMO, to err in the student's favor than to err in the other direction. Some may receive a higher grade than they deserve, but I would rather have that situation than have students receive lower grades than they deserve.
  8. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    By all means the instructor has the right to stick to the policy, but I also have the right to think it is overly rigid.

    Besides, I have a philosophical objection to quantifying grades in most non-standardized cases. Rubrics are arbitrary, and non-rubric grading is even more subjective.

    Is the difference between an 89 and a 90 on a paper really that clear-cut?
  9. mark74

    mark74 New Member

    If you are a fan of transparency, why don't you think a 89.8 should be a B in this case, given that this was how it was originally presented to the students? :)
  10. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    It's consistent, to be sure, but I object (as shown by my posts above) based on the inherent subjectivity of grading. Is the instructor really confident that there is a sufficient qualitative distinction between a subjectively-assigned 89.8 and a subjectively-assigned 90% to hold firm to a B grade?
  11. djacks24

    djacks24 New Member

    Actually, any class I've ever had 90 has been an A-. So you got a B+? I think grade inflation is already a rampant problem in most higher education anymore, but expecting it? I think you earning an A in this situation is unfair to those that really did score over 90. Work harder next time.
  12. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    I have had that happen in a couple of my classes where the grade is automatically calculated for me. I usually check when I see an "89%", but I have missed it a few times. A well-worded email to the Prof. may resolve it to your satisfaction.
  13. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    The A-/B+ has been my experience a few times as well. I disagree with you about this situation and grade inflation. I've asked professors before to let me do something for extra credit (writing a paper on a topic not covered in the class, etc.) but all I've ever gotten was a sorry you should have done better. Ok I accept that, but I disagree that you can't do something about 2/10 of a percentage point. If the OP had an 89% I would agree, but I just don't think that .02% is unalterable.

    Now grade inflation is a whole different beast of a topic that's been hashed out here quite a few times... :)
  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Your objection has more to do with the entire system of grading. I think I agree with you, to a certain extent.
    That's funny.
  15. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    I agree whole-heartedly with Stefan on every count.

    I object to the notion that a margin of error should be looked at as a two way street. One should almost always give the benefit of the doubt, not just in grading, but in general.

    I object that the system be so rigid that we cannot even round to a whole number.

    I'm curious for a clarification that could resolve Mark's objection:
    Was the issue of whether or not grades are rounded to the nearest whole number even addressed? If it wasn't than the issue was not presented to the students at all. I would expect a grade to be rounded to the nearest whole number unless it was otherwise specified. I have never received a decimal in a grade before.

    That said, I have seen a decimal in a speed limit at a movie theater (8.4mph I think), and every time I see it I cannot help but laugh at it.
  16. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I go to the same school and am in the same program. Rounding (up or down) is not listed as a school-wide policy and not addressed in the various syllabi. I believe it is up to the individual instructor. In my experience, most will round to the nearest whole number, yes. That's why he's surprised the instructor didn't.
  17. I once got an A-. It sucked. Ruined my whole undergrad GPA. Stupid data analysis class. :)
  18. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    I hate you. :)
  19. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    Email the instructor and ask what the policy is at least.
  20. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    In the bachelor's degree program, you would be correct as all of the classes that I took at that level required a 93 and above for an 'A'. At the master's level, 90 and above = 'A', 80 to 89 = 'B', 70 to 79 = 'C'. Anything below is an 'F'.

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