Thursday, March 18, 2010

Musings on Grades

I just checked my list of dropped students from the calculus lecture. This list includes everyone who dropped -- even if they did it during the week that you're allowed to change your schedule, not just the students who withdrew with a W.

Of the 20+ students on this list, only one of them took the second midterm. She scored really well and has a B+ average. This is not the same B+ student who emailed me about whether she should drop the course. This is a different B+ student.

I can't help but wonder if she dropped because she mistakenly thought that she did poorly on the second exam because the grade on Blackboard was artificially low before her TA entered her grade. Once our gradebook software recognizes that a test has happened, if you don't have a score, it averages in a zero. (I have mentioned this quirk many times in class and have posted it as an announcement on Bb.)