Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stats From the Gen-Ed Class

The gen-ed class had their final today. Of the 33 students who enrolled in the class, 28 of them took the final today. Of the 28 who took the final, all of them passed with a C or better. The metric "passed with a C or better" is our university's definition of success, so my success rate was 28/33, or about 85%.

So what about the other five students?

One was having major personal issues (came to my office to talk about it). We worked together to make a plan as to how to address these issues and to also salvage the rest of the semester. I identified people and resources on campus for the student to consult. Part of the plan involved withdrawing from math with a W.

Another student disappeared some time after the first exam. Apparently big things were going on with this student, too, as my final grade sheet showed that this student withdrew with a W on Wednesday, April 28 -- six weeks after the withdrawal deadline. Usually the only way to make that happen is to withdraw from the university or else to make a convincing case to the Powers That Be.

Another student with personal issues gave up at the very end. Didn't have a W on the grade sheet, so I had to enter an F, as the student didn't take the final.

Someone else did really badly on the second exam -- and knew it, as this student never returned to class to retrieve the failing exam. By not turning in any homework for the last half of the semester and not taking the remaining exams, this students fate was sealed with an F. It's a shame that my students are so bad at math because otherwise they would realize that homework counts as much as two exams together. Homework is graded on effort. Success is not far from you. Even one of my wannabe school shooters realized this. Wannabe School Shooter made a deal with me: Would I replace a low grade on Exam 1 with the final exam grade. Sure! Probably if I were more with-it I would have emailed this student after the disappearing act, but I wasn't. So my student failed the class instead of passing. And depending on my disappearing student's goals, there would have been the option to pass with a decent grade or to just barely pass; you can retake lower division courses for a better grade if you pass with a C-, D+, D, or D-.

There was another screw-up who gave up. Screwed up for a longer period of time. Gave up later in the semester.

There is no good reason to fail my class unless there is some sort of major issue going on outside of school. One of my students is a professional musician who was absent most Fridays travelling to gigs in other parts of the country. Still passed. In fact, of the students in my class who took all the exams, the lowest letter grade earned was a C+.

Friday is the calculus final.