Blind Grading

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ilovesf
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby ilovesf » Thu May 24, 2012 6:42 am

canesfan1986 wrote:You're right. It's more impressive that someone is better able to answer 100 questions about where a yellow T-Rex can go, what strengthens a science professors argument, and whether someone can understand what the author meant in line 41 about bees.

If you don't like the policy, raise your damned hand instead of being the cool guy who says nothing. Otherwise, stop whining.

No, never raise your hand and speak too often. Everyone will hate you.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renne Walker » Thu May 24, 2012 9:28 am

How would I know if my grade was bumped up (or down)? Is it documented, or is there zero transparency regarding “grade adjustments?” When I saw my exam grade I thought the grade reflected how I did on the test ‒ period. For all I know my “A” was really an “A-” but because I was charming in class the prof gave me a better grade (to someone else’s detriment).

Had they said, at the end of the semester grades are based on several factors, including the final exam, is one thing. To perpetrate the myth that the semester grade is based solely on the final exam sends a much different message.

Plus, isn’t the objective of blind grading to eliminate bias?

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby fundamentallybroken » Thu May 24, 2012 9:37 am

Renne Walker wrote:How would I know if my grade was bumped up (or down)? Is it documented, or is there zero transparency regarding “grade adjustments?” When I saw my exam grade I thought the grade reflected how I did on the test ‒ period. For all I know my “A” was really an “A-” but because I was charming in class the prof gave me a better grade (to someone else’s detriment).

Had they said, at the end of the semester grades are based on several factors, including the final exam, is one thing. To perpetrate the myth that the semester grade is based solely on the final exam sends a much different message.

Plus, isn’t the objective of blind grading to eliminate bias?


Not sure how it works at your school, but from what I've seen, the only people that perpetuate the so-called myth of the 100% final are students. Professors are pretty open that they reserve the right to bump you up or down, both at the beginning of the semester and in their syllabus. That this happens should be no surprise.

As for whether one person's bump up knocks another person down, why are you so worried about this? It's law school; it's competitive. Some people own the median while others get owned, and that's just something you need to live with.

chasgoose
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby chasgoose » Thu May 24, 2012 9:51 am

Renne Walker wrote:How would I know if my grade was bumped up (or down)? Is it documented, or is there zero transparency regarding “grade adjustments?” When I saw my exam grade I thought the grade reflected how I did on the test ‒ period. For all I know my “A” was really an “A-” but because I was charming in class the prof gave me a better grade (to someone else’s detriment).

Had they said, at the end of the semester grades are based on several factors, including the final exam, is one thing. To perpetrate the myth that the semester grade is based solely on the final exam sends a much different message.

Plus, isn’t the objective of blind grading to eliminate bias?


Yeah I don't know what section you are in at NYU, but all of my professors have been very open about reserving the right to bump our grades based on in class performance. I'm pretty sure every section has had professors like that. Also, not every bump up has a corresponding bump down, this is why our curve and most curves have a little wiggle room. I do think that the bump up/down makes sense for two reasons. A grade for a whole semester shouldn't be entirely related to how you perform on one exam, giving professors some leeway to bump up/down allows them to make people's grades somewhat better reflect their performance. The second more important reason, is that without that threat there are many of us that would stop showing up to class/paying attention. I realized midway through one of my courses this semester that attending class was a waste of my time, but I kept going because he made it very clear that classroom attendance was important and he reserved the right to bump us up or down for it...

Blind grading is mostly important so that professors' preconceived notions about students do not cloud their judgment while grading the exam itself. Blind grading doesn't completely extend to your actual grade.

Breezin
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Breezin » Thu May 24, 2012 10:35 am

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Last edited by Breezin on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Skyblaze
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Skyblaze » Thu May 24, 2012 10:48 am

Renne Walker wrote:How would I know if my grade was bumped up (or down)? Is it documented, or is there zero transparency regarding “grade adjustments?” When I saw my exam grade I thought the grade reflected how I did on the test ‒ period. For all I know my “A” was really an “A-” but because I was charming in class the prof gave me a better grade (to someone else’s detriment).


Go talk to your Professors about your exams!

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howell
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby howell » Thu May 24, 2012 11:32 am

Most professors I have had just put a note in their syllabus that they reserve the right to bump grades by a +/- based on classroom participation. Most of these professors hardly ever do so. Unless I hear from other students that classroom participation actually counts for a particular professor or if the professor makes it crystal clear that she will actually change multiple grades based on classroom participation, I assume that it is just a threat used to keep classroom discussion somewhat productive.

That is just my approach. No one knows exactly how often grade bumps occur or what "participation" actually bumps a grade up.

chasgoose
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby chasgoose » Thu May 24, 2012 12:16 pm

howell wrote:Most professors I have had just put a note in their syllabus that they reserve the right to bump grades by a +/- based on classroom participation. Most of these professors hardly ever do so. Unless I hear from other students that classroom participation actually counts for a particular professor or if the professor makes it crystal clear that she will actually change multiple grades based on classroom participation, I assume that it is just a threat used to keep classroom discussion somewhat productive.

That is just my approach. No one knows exactly how often grade bumps occur or what "participation" actually bumps a grade up.


Yeah, I mean we even had 3 written assignments in my first semester 1L class, which our professor hinted would make a difference. They didn't...

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Renne Walker
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renne Walker » Thu May 24, 2012 1:04 pm

Skyblaze wrote:Go talk to your Professors about your exams!

I have never tried only because classmates who have asked their professors about their exams walked away empty handed.

I need to re-ask, in case someone knows. How would I know if my grade was bumped up (or down)? Is it documented, or is there zero transparency regarding “grade adjustments?”

Skyblaze
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Skyblaze » Thu May 24, 2012 1:14 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
Skyblaze wrote:Go talk to your Professors about your exams!

I have never tried only because classmates who have asked their professors about their exams walked away empty handed.


Do you mean their Professor's wouldn't show them their exams at all? That would be pretty unprecedented.

I'm assuming you mean your classsmates just didn't get anything out of it. But, how do you know you won't get anything out of it if you've never tried? Maybe your classmates were asking the wrong questions.

And how is your classmates experience relevant when you care not about what you get out of talking to a Professor about the xam, but about figuring out if the Professor gives bumps and if you or anyone else got one this year?

bartleby
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby bartleby » Thu May 24, 2012 3:01 pm

A lot of gunners in my section, the ones who spoke ALL the time and interrupted the professor and stuff ended up doing really well. I have to say, I was annoyed at first, but that feeling evolved into begrudging respect for their clearly I-do-not-give-a-fuck-about-what-you-think attitudes.

Gunning is underrated

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Renne Walker
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renne Walker » Tue May 29, 2012 12:09 am

This policy answers my original question. Blind grading is as advertised, blind, any bumps (up/down) nearly takes a act of congress. Raising your hand in class or baking brownies for the prof is an exercise in wasted energy.

L. Grade Changes

After an instructor has submitted a grade to the Registrar, the instructor may change the grade only if it was incorrect as a result of an arithmetical, administrative, or other "mechanical" error, and the grade change has been approved by the Vice Dean for Academics. A grade may not be changed as a result of a reevaluation of a student's work except by vote of the faculty. This rule does not apply to changes as a result of a disciplinary proceeding or administrative irregularity. All grade changes must be approved by the Vice Dean for Academics.

Renzo
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renzo » Tue May 29, 2012 8:35 am

Renne Walker wrote:This policy answers my original question. Blind grading is as advertised, blind, any bumps (up/down) nearly takes a act of congress. Raising your hand in class or baking brownies for the prof is an exercise in wasted energy.

L. Grade Changes

After an instructor has submitted a grade to the Registrar, the instructor may change the grade only if it was incorrect as a result of an arithmetical, administrative, or other "mechanical" error, and the grade change has been approved by the Vice Dean for Academics. A grade may not be changed as a result of a reevaluation of a student's work except by vote of the faculty. This rule does not apply to changes as a result of a disciplinary proceeding or administrative irregularity. All grade changes must be approved by the Vice Dean for Academics.


I feel like I'm chasing my own tail a little bit, but: First, this policy does not prevent a professor from taking account of student participation. It just prevents the professor changing your final grade as a result of you whining at him/her after grades are submitted.

Second, just because a professor reserves the right to 'bump' grades doesn't mean they do it. Particularly at NYU, it is a tremendous amount of work to 'bump' grades because the curve needs to conform to a certain number of each grade. Thus if you bump a B+ to an A-, you probably need to find an A- to bump down to a B+, and that person may not "deserve" the downward bump. Professors are generally lazy, and are not going to kill themselves for all that.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renne Walker » Wed May 30, 2012 1:47 pm

+1. If I had read the rules on Grade Changes [posted above], I would have never asked about blind grading. An exam is an exam, not a vindication on your gleeful classroom participation. The one caveat might be a class requiring a fixed level of attendance.

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Detrox
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Detrox » Wed May 30, 2012 9:41 pm

Just want to confirm that NYU profs can and have given bumps for class participation and that the blind grading protocols do not militate against that as long as notice is put in the syllabus. I take no stance on the impassioned debate in this thread as to whether this is fair or not.

Renzo
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renzo » Wed May 30, 2012 10:10 pm

Detrox wrote:Just want to confirm that NYU profs can and have given bumps for class participation and that the blind grading protocols do not militate against that as long as notice is put in the syllabus. I take no stance on the impassioned debate in this thread as to whether this is fair or not.


Lighting can and has struck the same person twice in one lifetime. Should you modify your behavior to account for this fact?

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Detrox
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Detrox » Wed May 30, 2012 10:13 pm

Renzo wrote:
Detrox wrote:Just want to confirm that NYU profs can and have given bumps for class participation and that the blind grading protocols do not militate against that as long as notice is put in the syllabus. I take no stance on the impassioned debate in this thread as to whether this is fair or not.


Lighting can and has struck the same person twice in one lifetime. Should you modify your behavior to account for this fact?


Depends. Is modifying your behavior as simple as doing the reading before class and occasionally speaking when you have something to contribute, or is it refusing to leave your house when its raining? I was simply posting to confirm that grade changes are not some made up myth propagated by professors to encourage attendance and generate disputes in law school web forums, not encouraging an outbreak of gunnerdom.

That being said, why wouldn't you do everything you could to improve your grade if it mattered to you and there was little to no downside, even if the odds were minimal?

Renzo
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renzo » Wed May 30, 2012 10:52 pm

Detrox wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Detrox wrote:Just want to confirm that NYU profs can and have given bumps for class participation and that the blind grading protocols do not militate against that as long as notice is put in the syllabus. I take no stance on the impassioned debate in this thread as to whether this is fair or not.


Lighting can and has struck the same person twice in one lifetime. Should you modify your behavior to account for this fact?


Depends. Is modifying your behavior as simple as doing the reading before class and occasionally speaking when you have something to contribute, or is it refusing to leave your house when its raining? I was simply posting to confirm that grade changes are not some made up myth propagated by professors to encourage attendance and generate disputes in law school web forums, not encouraging an outbreak of gunnerdom.

That being said, why wouldn't you do everything you could to improve your grade if it mattered to you and there was little to no downside, even if the odds were minimal?


I don't think grade changes are a made up myth. Rather, I think they are a nuclear-deterrence style threat by professors--meaning that the fact that they threaten to do it means they never in fact actually have to do it.

No law student is going to dazzle a law professor with their insight, nor impress them with their über-gunning; professors know this and don't care. The only point of threatening grade changes is scare students away from slacking and not participating, because that causes work for the professors who have to fight with students. So long as enough are scared by the threat that class discussions move at a reasonable pace, there is no reason for a professor to do any grade bumping. The only thing you need to do is avoid being such a fuckup that the professor feels the need to nuke your ass just to maintain the credibility of the threat.

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Detrox
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Detrox » Wed May 30, 2012 10:58 pm

I think you put professors in too harsh of a light. Good insight in class may not dazzle a professor, but it will show that you've taken the time to learn and think about the material. If you perform below expectations on the exam, the professor may reward your earlier efforts with some recognition.

As to the "scare tactic" theme, I really don't think any professor is really threatening to lower your grade if you don't talk in class. If anything, the threat of a grade drop is for classes where cold calls are routine and someone simply refuses to read the material for class. Being silent/shy is likely fine, being stubbornly ignorant is where I could see a grade drop occuring. Again, I'm not saying these are normal or regular occurences, but I don't see why they seem so abhorrent.

Finally, to clarify, I didn't mean that you specifically considered them a myth, but other posters in this thread certainly did.

ebw1080
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby ebw1080 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:00 pm

Anecdotal evidence of the value of participating in class- I had a Professor straight up tell me he adjusted my grade for classroom participation.

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Re: Blind Grading

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed May 30, 2012 11:08 pm

Renne Walker wrote:+1. If I had read the rules on Grade Changes [posted above], I would have never asked about blind grading. An exam is an exam, not a vindication on your gleeful classroom participation. The one caveat might be a class requiring a fixed level of attendance.

You are still misreading that policy. It does not apply to class participation bumps, which professors can do. It only references situations where a professor wants to change a grade after it's been finalized.

I always was under the impression at NYU that the policy worked like this: Exams are graded blindly; separately, the professor submits to the registrar a list of a few people to bump up/down half a letter grade. So the prof only ever thinks, "Whatever grade Mr. Jones ends up with, I want to give him a half-grade bump because he was so well-prepared." The prof isn't in a position to see the results of the blind grading and think, "Mr. jones only got a B? He definitely deserved at least a B+, I'm going to bump him up." This means it's a significantly "blinder" process than what people here are discussing. I could be wrong, though.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:14 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:+1. If I had read the rules on Grade Changes [posted above], I would have never asked about blind grading. An exam is an exam, not a vindication on your gleeful classroom participation. The one caveat might be a class requiring a fixed level of attendance.

You are still misreading that policy. It does not apply to class participation bumps, which professors can do. It only references situations where a professor wants to change a grade after it's been finalized.

I always was under the impression at NYU that the policy worked like this: Exams are graded blindly; separately, the professor submits to the registrar a list of a few people to bump up/down half a letter grade. So the prof only ever thinks, "Whatever grade Mr. Jones ends up with, I want to give him a half-grade bump because he was so well-prepared." The prof isn't in a position to see the results of the blind grading and think, "Mr. jones only got a B? He definitely deserved at least a B+, I'm going to bump him up." This means it's a significantly "blinder" process than what people here are discussing. I could be wrong, though.

This was my impression as well, except I'll take it a step further and say that I have heard the professor can say something like "If so-and-so is within 5 people of being a half grade higher, bump them up," or something like that.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby Renne Walker » Thu May 31, 2012 12:24 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:"Mr. jones only got a B? He definitely deserved at least a B+, I'm going to bump him up."I could be wrong, though.

Ya think?

:lol:

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birdlaw117
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:30 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:"Mr. jones only got a B? He definitely deserved at least a B+, I'm going to bump him up."I could be wrong, though.

Ya think?

:lol:

wat?

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niederbomb
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Re: Blind Grading

Postby niederbomb » Thu May 31, 2012 3:34 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:+1. If I had read the rules on Grade Changes [posted above], I would have never asked about blind grading. An exam is an exam, not a vindication on your gleeful classroom participation. The one caveat might be a class requiring a fixed level of attendance.

You are still misreading that policy. It does not apply to class participation bumps, which professors can do. It only references situations where a professor wants to change a grade after it's been finalized.

I always was under the impression at NYU that the policy worked like this: Exams are graded blindly; separately, the professor submits to the registrar a list of a few people to bump up/down half a letter grade. So the prof only ever thinks, "Whatever grade Mr. Jones ends up with, I want to give him a half-grade bump because he was so well-prepared." The prof isn't in a position to see the results of the blind grading and think, "Mr. jones only got a B? He definitely deserved at least a B+, I'm going to bump him up." This means it's a significantly "blinder" process than what people here are discussing. I could be wrong, though.


I am not at NYU. But assuming a similar system applies at other schools, does this mean that professors do not know your grade? It is awkward running into profs from last semester, especially when accompanied by other students. I just imagine them saying to themselves: "There goes Mr. A- and Ms. B+." I did well in Torts. I went to ask my Torts professor for an LOR before most other grades had come out. She said:"Assuming you did well in your other classes, so-and-so professor would be happy to talk to you about Bankruptcy." That implies she knew, right?




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