~“Wounds that never heal”~

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 09:36 AM.

Recently, a new term started for one of the colleges for which I teach.  After a brief introduction to the course; I went to the board and starting explaining to the class how grades would work for this particular college math course.

“It’s March and I like March Madness and college basketball, so I’m going to take a tournament approach to grading,” I said as I started drawing a tournament bracket on the board.  After noting, “This is going to be fun,” I continued explaining how my grading system would work for the term.

The students look dumbfounded; I kept a straight face and continued with my explanation.  “The class will be divided into five groups or brackets for each test.”  I went on to note that the highest grade in each group would compete for an A, the second highest for a B, etc.  Of course, I also noted that the lowest in each group would compete for an A, also. 

My logic was that even if you are one of the lowest performers, you still had a chance for an A.

It didn’t take long, for a student to note, “This is not fair.”

I stopped drawing my elaborate “March Math Madness” brackets on the board, and looked at the student who had noted that my grading method was not reasonable.

Going back to my lectern at the front of the class, I grasped both sides like a Baptist preacher preparing to lay down the main point of the sermon.

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