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Applying for a Grade

posted: 11.20.06 by Barclay Barrios

Give students a copy of the grading guidelines for the course and then have them review the section of the handbook on letters of application. For midterm conferences, ask each student to write a letter applying for a particular grade. Like a letter of application, the opening should make clear what grade they are applying for, and then the body should make it clear what their qualifications are, connecting their written work of the semester to the grading criteria.

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Categories: Argument, Assessment, Business Writing, Document Design, Handbooks
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One Response to “Applying for a Grade”

  1. Jeff Burdick Says:

    I’ve done something similar. I sometimes include participation points in my developmental writing classes. After studying argumentation, I have the students argue for the points they believe they have earned. The argument must include points that must be rebutted and must not rely on reasons based on emotion.

    So far, only two students have argued for a grade I would not consider. Nearly always, they argue for a grade that exactly matches my perception; sometimes they are harder on themselves than I would be — but almost never does a student reach for 100 points when 25 would be more correct.

    When I disagree with the self evaluation, I create a brief argument for the alternative grade. So far, there has been only one objection to the final grade in this category. That is a student who honestly believed that because she hadn’t been in class she deserved full points.

    The logic failed.