Saturday, February 19, 2005

Grading on a Curve

  1. According to my pre-service teachers' responses in their learning journals, "grading on a curve" is the following: when the students do poorly on an exam, you add the same amount to every score -- enough to raise the highest score to 100%.

  2. To me, this procedure they describe is better known as "changing the grades." Or, at best, "scaling the grades."

  3. The textbook has a paragraph about "grading on a curve," explaining how in a large class the grades are often normally distributed and how the boundaries between letter grades may be determined from the mean and the standard deviation. There is also a chart and a graph to further illustrate the point.

  4. Even if I'm a bad instructor, they should be able to do problems that involve nothing other than paraphrasing material from the textbook.

  5. Few students submitted revisions to the probability problems in their learning journals. Journal problems are scored on a 0/1/2 scale, but they may be resubmitted for a higher score (within 3 weeks of the original submission). Friday was the deadline for resubmitting the probability problems for a higher score.

  6. Did I mention that they wanted me to curve the grades on the test they all failed?