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(Inside Higher Ed)   Problem: Professor grades on a curve. Solution: boycott final so everyone gets the "high" score (a 0) and therefore an A. Fark: it works   (insidehighered.com) divider line 192
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16744 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Feb 2013 at 10:52 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-14 10:55:16 AM  
This wouldn't have worked in Law School, too many douche bags.
 
2013-02-14 10:56:21 AM  
math2033.uark.edu
 
2013-02-14 10:56:48 AM  
They also all got the lowest score, so everyone fails.

They also all got the Median score, so everyone gets a C
 
2013-02-14 10:57:24 AM  
www.maniacworld.com

What dangerous curves may look like
 
2013-02-14 10:58:11 AM  
Why couldn't any of my class mates have been down for this?
Actually my problem was homework. Not tests. It only affected one class but unfortunately it was intermediate accounting II and I was an accounting major.
 
2013-02-14 10:59:37 AM  
I'm amazed that that one guy who asks all the stupid questions right at the end of class didn't fark it up for everyone else by showing up for the exam.
 
2013-02-14 11:00:17 AM  
I believe they all get an incomplete since they failed to take the test, and a disciplinary request to the administration for wasting my time and the schools resources.
 
2013-02-14 11:00:18 AM  
Tricycle racer wins.  Prisoner dilemma FTW!


In the real world, college profs are given wide authority on grading.  I'd have failed the entire class for this kind of BS.
 
2013-02-14 11:00:52 AM  
This is ridiculous. It sounds like you had a chance to improve your grade with the curve. If the highest score was an 80 then your grade got bumped up by 20 points. I don't understand the logic in getting everyone to sit out.

/ never graded on a curve.
//am I misunderstanding it?
 
2013-02-14 11:01:45 AM  
I can somewhat understand grading on a curve, since many exams have different "correct" answers than what's written in the textbook, but the professor should have at least had a rule stating that anyone not present at the time of the exam gets a grade of "Absent", thus ineligible to get any score on the test.
 
2013-02-14 11:01:54 AM  

Dogberry: I'm amazed that that one guy who asks all the stupid questions right at the end of class didn't fark it up for everyone else by showing up for the exam.


Did you read TFA? Everyone sat outside the room, and if one student had gone in to take the exam, all of them would have done the same.
 
2013-02-14 11:02:44 AM  
they didn't take the test, so getting an A for the test is illogical: they should have gotten an incomplete, with their scores for the semester either unchanged or lowered due to the lack of the required 100-300 points the final would be composed of.  At the same time, the students are paying for an education, and knowing how to get the best grade is secondary to knowing the material with which you intend to base a career off of.  If those students were to think rationally about their motives, i.e. "How will I proceed in this course of study?  I have an A for this class, but I don't know the material, as I was too busy getting tanked to study, knowing we'd just be sitting outside the classroom."

/I would have walked into the room to take the exam
//would also have been the one who got the 100% and farked their possibility to get a curve
///yes, I'm that guy
 
2013-02-14 11:02:50 AM  
As with any true loophole it only works once, but the people who figured it out deserve congratulations on pulling it off.
 
2013-02-14 11:03:40 AM  

5monkeys: This is ridiculous. It sounds like you had a chance to improve your grade with the curve. If the highest score was an 80 then your grade got bumped up by 20 points. I don't understand the logic in getting everyone to sit out.

/ never graded on a curve.
//am I misunderstanding it?


They weren't protesting that it was "unfair" they simply wanted to see what the prof would do.  He (the prof) actually seems like a pretty cool teacher and even he learned something - he didnt go apeshiat trying to get revenge on these kids, he gave them the "well played ol' chap" nod and is changing his policy for the future.  All said and done *golfclaps* all around.
 
2013-02-14 11:03:59 AM  
Fark that.  By the one student's logic, if I know I am going to ace the test anyway because I studied ahead of time there is no incentive for me to break the boycott because I will still ace the test.  Bullshiat.  Why should I let those other lazy farks off easy because they think they've found a way to game the system?

/would have failed them all if I was the professor
 
2013-02-14 11:03:59 AM  
DussoJanladde:
Did you read TFA?

So many words.  I skimmed it.
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2013-02-14 11:04:12 AM  
Oh man, I would have LOVED to trolled the entire class and taken the test.
 
2013-02-14 11:04:55 AM  
Good luck trying to apply that one in the real world, kiddos.
 
2013-02-14 11:06:51 AM  
 
2013-02-14 11:07:03 AM  

BigNumber12: Good luck trying to apply that one in the real world, kiddos.


You mean the real world of tax loopholes, back room deals and collusion?  Yeah, in reality that shiat works in the real world too.
 
2013-02-14 11:07:12 AM  
Grading on a curve is pretty stupid for a college class. It makes sense for something like the SATs where the number of test takers is very large and the group is varied in composition, but, in a high-level science class, there's a chance everyone there does very well and they should be graded as such.

...wait, I just read the article. He wasn't grading on a curve at all. That's not what grading on a curve is, despite what so many teachers may have wrongly told you.
 
2013-02-14 11:07:14 AM  
FTFA Kelly said the boycott was made possible through a variety of technological and social media tools. Students used a spreadsheet on Google Drive to keep track of who had agreed to the boycott, for instance. And social networks were key to "get 100 percent confidence that you have 100 percent of the people on board" in a big class.

Because utilizing a spreadsheet and calling people have never been used in the history of organizing anything.  Evar.

/article fail
 
2013-02-14 11:08:13 AM  

DussoJanladde: Dogberry: I'm amazed that that one guy who asks all the stupid questions right at the end of class didn't fark it up for everyone else by showing up for the exam.

Did you read TFA? Everyone sat outside the room, and if one student had gone in to take the exam, all of them would have done the same.


I would've sneaked in through a different door or crawled through a window or something. Just answer like 1 or 2 questions correctly and be done with it. That would've been hilarious.
 
2013-02-14 11:08:33 AM  

5monkeys: This is ridiculous. It sounds like you had a chance to improve your grade with the curve. If the highest score was an 80 then your grade got bumped up by 20 points


If 90% of the class gets a score of 60, and the highest is 61, that 90% gets an A.

If 90% of the class gets a score of 60, and the highest is 98, that 90% gets a D.

Grading on a curve really does allow one person to mess it up for everyone else. Your score doesn't matter, only the highest score does, unless you can prove that your "incorrect" answers were correct as stated in the textbook, not covered in the class, etc.
 
2013-02-14 11:09:14 AM  
How is grading on a curve a problem? It can only help you compared to the alternative. All they did was screw it up for everyone else in the future. If you can actually get everyone else on board, there are far more subtle ways to effectively manipulate a grading curve.

Also, the professor's new policy of "everybody has 0 points means that everybody gets 0 percent" would be just as ineffective if he's going to follow it to the letter as he did here. All everyone has to do is pick one question (or one relevant fact in the case of an essay test) that they're sure about and only answer that one.
 
2013-02-14 11:09:21 AM  

StrangeQ: /would have failed them all if I was the professor


Not if you didn't like being sued for not following the syllabus that you printed and handed out. This was at Johns Hopkins, at least one of those kids would have had the dough to make that hurt.
 
2013-02-14 11:09:29 AM  
Then some kid who passed out drunk the night before e-mails him, says he was "sick" and apologizes for not making it to the final, then asks if he can make it up...
 
2013-02-14 11:09:38 AM  
Call me crazy but I have always felt when marking my students that their mark should be related to how much they know not how much the others in the class do.
 
2013-02-14 11:11:26 AM  

BigNumber12: Good luck trying to apply that one in the real world, kiddos.


If they keep "leveling the playing feild", it will lower the standards enough to where it will work.
 
2013-02-14 11:11:54 AM  

thurstonxhowell: Grading on a curve is pretty stupid for a college class. It makes sense for something like the SATs where the number of test takers is very large and the group is varied in composition, but, in a high-level science class, there's a chance everyone there does very well and they should be graded as such.

...wait, I just read the article. He wasn't grading on a curve at all. That's not what grading on a curve is, despite what so many teachers may have wrongly told you.


Yeah we was adjusting the max score to match the best performance which is definitely not grading on a curve.  And even for people who DO actually try and grade on a curve I've never met someone who was such a bastard that a 93% becomes a "C" because everyone did awesome and you were just a little less awesome.  I would be farking THRILLED if I had a class average a 93% on a test and would happily dish out the "A's",
 
2013-02-14 11:12:22 AM  

Dogberry: I'm amazed that that one guy who asks all the stupid questions right at the end of class didn't fark it up for everyone else by showing up for the exam.


thankfully, no dumb questions from me right at the end of class.  He sits 3 chairs to my left in chemistry, though.

/and two rows forward in Embedded Design
//same kid, both classes
///professors are relieved when he doesn't show for class 60% of the time.
 
2013-02-14 11:12:43 AM  

fireclown: In the real world, college profs are given wide authority on grading.  I'd have failed the entire class for this kind of BS.


Yes, but he almost certainly gave his students a paper explaining the grading policy. If he had failed them all, they could've gone to college administrators and appealed that grade. Many professors I had in college viewed the syllabus and papers like the grading policy as like a contract and generally speaking; are expected to stick with that, regardless of circumstances like exploited loopholes.
 
2013-02-14 11:12:46 AM  

USCLaw2010: This wouldn't have worked in Law Dental School, too many douche bags.


FTFM
 
2013-02-14 11:13:30 AM  
Ah, students these days.  Instead of working hard for your grade, let's find loopholes to slide by.
 
2013-02-14 11:14:26 AM  

Quaker: How is grading on a curve a problem? It can only help you compared to the alternative


False. Grading on a curve is not the same as what this guy did. This guy bumped up students' scores so that the highest score was equivalent to getting 100% even if a few questions were wrong. That's not grading on a curve. Grading on a curve forces the grades into a pre-determined distribution, usually centered on a C. Most colleges are reluctant to give Fs, so you really have to fark up to get one.

If a class gets 96, 95, 92, 88, 86, 85, 85, 84, and 82, this guy would give them 100, 99, 96, 92, 90, 89, 89, 88, and 86. Grading on a curve would give them something like A, B, B, C, C, C, C, D, and D.
 
2013-02-14 11:14:30 AM  

naughtyrev: DussoJanladde: Dogberry: I'm amazed that that one guy who asks all the stupid questions right at the end of class didn't fark it up for everyone else by showing up for the exam.

Did you read TFA? Everyone sat outside the room, and if one student had gone in to take the exam, all of them would have done the same.

I would've sneaked in through a different door or crawled through a window or something. Just answer like 1 or 2 questions correctly and be done with it. That would've been hilarious.


Reminds me of that show Biggest Loser when they have the temptation challenges. It is interesting to see one or two contestants chow down and eat like 2000 calories and others not touch anything.

I would have wanted to take the test but probably would have caved to peer pressure as a college student.

Still kinda stupid, Even if he took the high score and made that an A, he still calculates percentages based on that score. So if the quiz was worth 40 and the high score was 36, now the quiz is out of 36. If the student got 30, the student has a 83% instead of a 75%. If the high score is 0, and everyone has a 0, then everyone should still have 0%.
 
2013-02-14 11:14:41 AM  

USCLaw2010: This wouldn't have worked in Law School, too many douche bags.


No need... Harvard and many other "top" law schools now don't grade first year, so that a huge percentage of their students applying for summer associate positions can legitimately claim that they're at the top of their class.
 
2013-02-14 11:14:46 AM  

Onkel Buck: BigNumber12: Good luck trying to apply that one in the real world, kiddos.

If they keep "leveling the playing feild* ", it will lower the standards enough to where it will work

/*field

FTFM

 
2013-02-14 11:15:16 AM  

5monkeys: This is ridiculous. It sounds like you had a chance to improve your grade with the curve. If the highest score was an 80 then your grade got bumped up by 20 points. I don't understand the logic in getting everyone to sit out.

/ never graded on a curve.
//am I misunderstanding it?


It depends - essentially the highest score is now "100%", and everything else is graded relative to that score. So, if everyone is clustered in a normal distribution then the curve should help.

In my experience, professors that graded on a curve generally wrote extremely difficult exams, and expected that the highest marks would be around 50-60% of the total. If, however, you happen to be in class with a freakin' genius who performs well above that expectation, then your grade would be totally shot. (Granted, *most* professors who do this will account for outliers and retool the curve so that it's more normally distributed...      sounds like this guy might not do that, however.)

(Lot of assumptions in here, I know...)
 
2013-02-14 11:16:34 AM  

5monkeys: This is ridiculous. It sounds like you had a chance to improve your grade with the curve. If the highest score was an 80 then your grade got bumped up by 20 points. I don't understand the logic in getting everyone to sit out.

/ never graded on a curve.
//am I misunderstanding it?


Because then everyone with a '0' gets their score bumped up by 100 points. Beats an "80' every time.
These kids get credit for thinking outside the box AND getting this thing organized. The prof. gets credit for standing behind what he drew up, flaws and all, and not getting mad. He left a loophole in, and these kids exploited it. Lesson learned.
 
2013-02-14 11:17:55 AM  

BigNumber12: Good luck trying to apply that one in the real world, kiddos.


Good thing the "real world" is more than just the workplace and learning how to come together to achieve goals is actually a useful skill.
 
2013-02-14 11:18:42 AM  

thurstonxhowell: Grading on a curve is pretty stupid for a college class. It makes sense for something like the SATs where the number of test takers is very large and the group is varied in composition, but, in a high-level science class, there's a chance everyone there does very well and they should be graded as such.

...wait, I just read the article. He wasn't grading on a curve at all. That's not what grading on a curve is, despite what so many teachers may have wrongly told you.



I went to Hopkins, most professors grade on a curve in any class with more than 30 people or so, though they usually do a bell curve centered on a B with one standard deviation per letter grade.  A lot of them purposely make the test too hard, that way the really smart ones get all the As, stretching out the curve so that almost everyone fits inside of one deviation of the mean.

I'm not sure what Herr Froelich was doing though.
 
2013-02-14 11:19:08 AM  
Trance354:
/I would have walked into the room to take the exam
//would also have been the one who got the 100% and farked their possibility to get a curve
///yes, I'm that guy



Farkied as "thinks he's hot shiat."
 
2013-02-14 11:19:11 AM  

Quaker: All they did was screw it up for everyone else in the future.


How? They exposed the same loophole that you're biatching about them using. That's all that changed, it's not like he took away the curve or started requiring everyone to take their tests under armed guard. He just closed that loophole.
 
2013-02-14 11:19:12 AM  
They divided by zero. Worlds colliding!
 
2013-02-14 11:22:17 AM  
The students waited outside the rooms to make sure that others honored the boycott,

So it's like the Prisoners' Dilemma, if Henry has a gun, gets to watch Dave's questioning, and can shoot him if Dave starts trying to dime him out.

So in other words, not very much like the Prisoners' Dilemma.
 
2013-02-14 11:23:10 AM  

Mikey1969: Quaker: All they did was screw it up for everyone else in the future.

How? They exposed the same loophole that you're biatching about them using. That's all that changed, it's not like he took away the curve or started requiring everyone to take their tests under armed guard. He just closed that loophole.


Milton's going to burn down the classroom now.
 
2013-02-14 11:23:41 AM  
Wouldn't work at our school. Our university has a policy that says you must take the final in order to pass the course.
 
2013-02-14 11:25:46 AM  

Gerald Tarrant: Call me crazy but I have always felt when marking my students that their mark should be related to how much they know not how much the others in the class do.


The idea behind a sliding scale (is that the best term for this type of gradaing....I hate when people call it a curve because grading to a curve is something completely different) is that it helps cancel out issues such as ambiguous or poorly worded questions, poor explanation or coverage of a subject,  and other testing issues.  The idea is that if a question is "bad", for whatever reason, such that the majority of the class misses it, then it is more likely that the fault lies with the test, the professor, or the text.  Ideally you would review the results of each question to weed out the bad ones, but practically you accomplish the same thing by adjusting the grading scale to the top score.

Trust me when I say that if this method of grading wasn't used, you'd have more of the piss poor profs whom seem to revel in the "lets see how many students I can fail this term" tests.  It can promote grade inflation however and should be not be used as a crutch by professors to justify lazy / bad test writing (which it does at times from my experience).
 
2013-02-14 11:26:18 AM  

wxboy: Mikey1969: Quaker: All they did was screw it up for everyone else in the future.

How? They exposed the same loophole that you're biatching about them using. That's all that changed, it's not like he took away the curve or started requiring everyone to take their tests under armed guard. He just closed that loophole.

Milton's going to burn down the classroom now.


probably shouldn't have touched his stapler, upon further reflection.
 
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