Grades Entered

Hi there!

Well, I’ve finished calculating all the grades for our course, and they’re entered into the Korea University computer system. I don’t know when they become visible to students, but I do know that the grade inquiry period begins tomorrow, so I imagine you’ll be able to check your final grade by then, if not sooner.

A couple of things to note about grades, and inquiries:

1. All courses at Korea University taught in English are subject to relative evaluation. That means grades must follow the grading curve. Usually, I don’t need to worry about that, but in the case of this class, there were so many good students that the grading curve is maxed out. That means I’ve given the maximum number of A/A+ and B/B+ grades for the class.

(Nice work! That almost never happens!)

2. Please note, the grade you have received is not absolutely final. Students are still able to inquire and point out any mistake they think was made. While I can say I’ve double-checked everything, I am only human, and mistakes do happen. Because the grading curve is full, if one student’s grade goes up, another student’s grade may have to go down. Don’t panic, that’s not likely to happen, since I was very careful in my calculations and double-checked everything.

However, if you believe I’ve made a mistake, you should please contact me immediately. The official inquiry period is until 12:00 noon (lunchtime) on Friday (22 January), and I cannot change grades after that. (Or, rather, adjusting a grade after Friday will require a ridiculous amount of paperwork and hassle, so I’m not going to do it unless I’ve made a serious mistake. In other words, if you think there’s a problem with your grade, you need to contact me immediately.)

3. Please remember that your grade already includes my generosity. If you scored a point or less shorter of a higher letter grade, I usually give you the letter grade if I can. I prefer generosity when it is possible. Therefore please do not ask me for a higher grade just because you want (or feel that you “need”) one. Do not ask me to be generous: I already have been. The grade you received includes my generosity, and my generosity—like anyone’s—has limits.

4. Please remember that your grade is, in effect, the sum of all the work you did in this class. Aside from (literally) a mere 2% of subjective difference in terms of participation marks, everything is an objective measure of your performance in your homework, exams, the number of posts you made on the course blog, and so on. Your grade is only partly a reflection of the quality of your work, in fact: in large part, as long as you did all the work, you should have received at least a B. I have designed the course that way on purpose. To get an A, you need to excel in multiple areas, and to excel more than others in those multiple areas.

5. My policy is never to change grades unless I’ve made a mistake. I’m pretty sure I haven’t, but you have the right to ask me to check, and as a professional, I will check. However, you should know what grade you received on all your homework submitted to me, and on your midterm, and you know how many blog posts you did. The only real mystery is your final exam grade, which is worth 10% of your mark. In other words, nobody should be too surprised by his or her final mark.

6. If you are considering inquiring with me about your grade, please first read the following:

  • How Grades Work in my Classes (So you understand how grading actually works. I explained this at the beginning of semester, but it’s good to remind yourself.)
  • Emailing Your Professors (How to send a polite, professional email to a professor in English. I expect you to use this format if you email me.)
  • Homework and Responsibility (About taking responsibility for your course work and the deadlines that are part of a course.)

7. Please also remember I spend a LOT of time on your grades, and ensuring they are accurate and fair. And finally, please also remember that our class was very competitive, with many great students.

Alright, that’s all I have to say. Thanks for an excellent Winter Semester, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break!


Prof. Sellar

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