Saturday, December 09, 2006

Obligatory Grading Complaints

I posted grades for project three tonight. It's embarrassing how high the grades are, but the assignment was so poorly written it was difficult to come up with fair grading criteria. After struggling with the projects for a while yesterday I finally figured out a system that seemed fair. (There has been no grading criteria provided by Inexperience Lecturer all quarter, so I have had to make up rubrics that seemed fair to me.)

Tonight I posted the grades and within minutes the first complaint arrived. This group probably deserved a C, maybe a C+, but since I was grading so leniently they received a B. The assignment asked them to create a poster illustrating a hairstyle they designed. They asked me if they could do a 3-D model instead. I told them they could, but that it would be much more difficult and time consuming. They went ahead and did it anyway. Of course, their 3-D model turned out looking like an elementary student made it out of popsicle sticks.

I wish I could post some of the "poetry" I received for the second assignment, but most of it has incriminating details about my location and field of study. Let's just say that students who aren't literature/writing majors should not be asked to write in verse, because they don't know what that means. Apparently, in their minds any writing that includes rhyming the last word on every other line counts as verse. I was a natural sciences major as an undergrad, so I still have trouble with lots of grammar rules, especially when to use commas, but even I can tell the difference between verse and prose.

I'm so tired of this crap!


Leslie M-B said...

If essays could be made of popsicle sticks, I've seen a few.

wil said...

Bad poetry and hair-style posters? I can't for the life of me figure out what course you've been TAing. Sounds eclectic.

Breena Ronan said...

It is a really strange course. This is the third year I have TAed this course, but this was the first time it involved poetry. It doesn't really involved "hair-styles" but they do have to create posters. It's a gen. ed. course but I think having to learn a little about layout and graphic design is good for students. If they go into academia they will probably have to create a poster presentation for their research someday.