Grade Appeal

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Grade Appeal

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:46 am

Miracle wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:The classroom isn't a democracy. The teacher's "opinion" is what counts (though I don't know what on earth "irrepressible" means in this context). Jselson's not being strict or harsh at all in what he describes.

No need to be rude about it. It was as a result of auto correct.

Sorry, I just couldn't even figure out what it was supposed to be.

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Re: Grade Appeal

Postby Specialhawk » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:08 am

jselson wrote:
Specialhawk wrote:
jselson wrote:
Miracle wrote:Didn't he say he only had two absences, but she counted three against him? Am I missing something?

The reason why she probably doesn't want to do it is because she gave him an opportunity to check it over (her records), and he failed to do so

She doesn't want to do it because she has no way of knowing whether the OP is being honest or not. There was a time and place to make the change (and that procedure is there because she knows she might make a mistake, which is commendable on her part), and the OP did not take it. That's the OPs fault. The OP can talk to her about it, but no procedure or agreement was violated, and if the OP loses his appeal (which he will), he should just suck it up and learn from it.

It's not like she knows if the people went up to mark the records were lying or not. I understand that was more the acceptable procedure but it's literally just being going up and changing the books on whether or not they were absent.

I know what you are saying but I still feel like I have a decent enough chance. I mean, I did email her asserting I only had two absences, and telling her in that email I had two at the start of the year. Part of my reason for doing that was because I didn't check the record that day. She never disagreed with my email and told me that two absences wouldn't affect me much.

She also told me that a single absence would "have a very small impact on my grade". I have all of these emails printed out and I submitted them with my appeal. She told me that because the presentation also counted as part of my participation grade that absences when proportionally applied would affect me very little.

Doesn't this seem like a violation of some sort of agreement in telling me this and then grading incredibly harshly? I mean I understand "very little" is subjective but I would think that most law students and law professors wouldn't consider a drop in grade an "very small impact". She also told me absences would be "proportionally applied". Hardly seems proportional if she takes 4 of them to for 20%. The way she actually graded seems very different from how I was told by her that she would grade.

Also the school does require all teachers to notify students if attendance will be graded. Granted she did notify us, but if the degree of attendance is going to be so incredibly important shouldn't she have also let us know the exact degree? She mixed in the attendance grade with a in class presentation (which took weeks to prepare) and any reasonable person would at least assume that project was worth 10% and not 5%. When has the main project of the class ever been worth 5%?

Maybe at the end of the day none of that matters. It's her first time teaching as well.

Figuring out how much to grade does take a bit of work, but I've taught in a university setting for two years myself, and I know that when a student starts asking me off the cuff about their grades, I've said things like, "Oh, I don't think it'll matter much, focus on what you can do for the rest of the class," without knowing whether a minor assignment might drop someone's grade or not (I'm not a calculator). For a teacher, we may say something that is slightly inaccurate or is taken a different way by the student from what we mean. But that's why we have a syllabus - that's the contract. And a lot of instructors' syllabi (mine included) are pretty clear on what things are worth in general, although we all reserve the right to adjust things based on the class.

When it comes to attendance, there's often a big battle between students and instructors since every instructor I knows considers attendance in class absolutely vital, while many students don't. I often get students who complain to me about whether I can let an absence slide so it doesn't affect their grade. My response is that you get a certain number of free passes and you can do with them what you wish, but they're really there for emergencies, not so you can sleep in late. But I still get students who do the sleep-in late stuff, then when they have a real emergency and get a fourth absence (when it counts for my classes, which meet 2-3 times a week), the STUDENT puts ME in a tough place - and yet few of them ever take responsibility for it. I've also had students lie straight to my face about days they were absent, yet they claimed they were not. And if this is a seminar class for you (I think that was mentioned), your professor's gonna think her memory's pretty good.

So in the end, there was a procedure in place that allowed her to give you the benefit of the doubt, which is pretty kind of her, and you kinda blew it. What you've said from the emails is subjective enough that the school's going to side with the professor - believe me, it takes a LOT to convince a higher up that the professor was unjust. That doesn't make you a bad student or irresponsible or anything like that, but you should own up to it and learn from it, imho.

Edit: Oh, and when it comes to my own grading, students get an automatic third of a grade deduction on their final grades for very absence after the freebies. AFAIK, that's pretty standard.

I can see your point, but she doesn't need to be a calculator to know it will drop me a grade. It's not like I'll only drop if I'm borderline. It's more like I will drop no matter where I am. I mean for a SINGLE absence that counts against me. I would have dropped 2 grades, from an A- to a B. I had a 91 and a 5 point drop would put me at a 86 = B. Another drop put me at a B-. I just can't see how this isn't extremely harsh. Had I had another absence I would have gotten a 76= C for the class. It's not like any of these absences can be excusable, you have one freebie and the others will count against you no matter what. I also did make up work for one of my absences which I thought implicitly would imply I would have less points taken, I even met up with her to do discuss the assignments just so I could ensure her I did the make up work and because she asked to meet with me.

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Re: Grade Appeal

Postby RoaringMice » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:48 pm

Specialhawk wrote:
jselson wrote:
Miracle wrote: I mean, I did email her asserting I only had two absences, and telling her in that email I had two at the start of the year. Part of my reason for doing that was because I didn't check the record that day. She never disagreed with my email and told me that two absences wouldn't affect me much.

If a student were to email me and mention that he had two absences, I would not be checking my roll to ensure that he really does have two absences. She answered based on the information you gave her at the time. That was entirely reasonable for her to do.

Since she gave you an opportunity to check your absences, and you didn't do so, I do not believe your appeal will be granted. But here's to hoping that I'm wrong.

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