Grades Posted

Hi folks,

I’ve posted your grades for the semester on UCUPS. Now, before you email me to request a higher grade, I’m going to ask you to read a couple of things, and consider something.

First, (re)read these:

  • On Grading: Just so you understand my philosophy of grading, and the fact that a mistake is VERY, VERY unlikely.
  • On Emailing Your Professors: Just in case you decide to email to inquire about your result in a course, here’s a guide of how not to do it, as well as how to do it politely.

I assure you that I spent over a week making sure your grades were error-free. Of course, I’m human, so it’s possible there’s a small mistake in there somewhere… but I doubt it.

I don’t know if you can see the fine details regarding the grades that were input into the system. UCUPS has complete grade information — what you scored on each aspect of the course — but I don’t know if students are able to access it. In any case, I can certainly share with you the fine data on how you got your grade.

Also, I should note that UCUPS’ system for inputting grades is a little broken. UCUPS has a limited number of categories, and none that are customizable, and the system requires that attendance be counted toward the final grade. (I almost never count attendance, only participation.) Therefore, in most classes I used “Attendance” to count for attending Department Events like Mosaic and the Presentation Contest.

Meanwhile, just in case you can see the section-by-section data for your grades, I should note that the UCUPS system also limits the number of categories I can use to input the details of your grades to 6. In some classes this was fine, but in others (especially Listening & Speaking) I had to combine grades for several aspects of your work into one category. I would be happy to show you the finer details if you would like to see them. I will be posting a sheet with student numbers and grade data next week–either here or on the wall outside my office–so that all interested parties can see the details.

However, it is important you understand that grades are not “given” by me, they are earned through your work. Therefore, I cannot “give” you a higher grade just because you need one.

In any case, if you do email me about your grade, I will email you back, but it might take me a few days to get back to you, since Christmas is coming up soon!

Please also be aware that if you think there was an error, you should contact me as soon as possible. I will be dealing with all inquires on December 26th. The university’s deadline for changing grades easily due to an error is the 27th, but I will be unavailable that day, so 12:00pm on the 26th of December is my deadline for you for all inquiries related to grades.

Also, I would like to note that the grading “curve” had to be applied in two of my classes: Listening & Speaking, and Greek Mythology and Biblical Narrative. Especially in Listening & Speaking, almost every student in the class earned between A+ and A0. The differences between individuals was on the order of 0.1% or 0.2% in some cases, and this made the difference between the 4 individuals who got an A+/A0 and those who got a B+. Only one student in Listening & Speaking fairly earned a B-level grade… but unfortunately, the university’s policy forces me to give an undeservedly low grade to most of you. It makes me feel terrible, but the university’s software is designed to force professors to do this, unfortunately.

So if you’re one of those students, don’t let the result depress you: many of you did outstanding work that simply isn’t being officially noticed. If that’s something that bothers you, well… it won’t be the last time in your life that it happens. I applaud you, at least.

Have a great holiday, and a wonderful winter break, and take care of yourselves!

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