- Letters to Editor
For a year now, the Student Government Association (SGA) has been pushing legislation requiring professors to post grades more frequently than twice a semester.
Currently, the only grading policy at Eastern simply requires all professors to post grades at midterms and finals week.
Originally, a quarterly grading policy was being pushed through SGA. The main idea is professors in developmental, 100 and 200-level courses would be the only ones required to post grades more frequently.
However, the administration and faculty has continuously ignored this legislation.
SGA attempted to rework the policy several times to appease the higher-ups, but they continued to push the idea away.
We at The Progress do not agree with this lack of effort for student improvement by the administration. In fact, we believe SGA should start to push back just as hard.
Several professors choose not to use grading tools offered by the university, such as Blackboard, which often leaves students uninformed about their current academic standing in a class. Several professors don’t even open their courses on Blackboard at all.
We believe this grading policy should apply not only to professors in lower-division courses but also to all professors in every level class. Additionally, the policy should not be restricted to only general education courses. All students, no matter what course, have a right to know their current grades.
All professors on this campus obviously know how to use Blackboard, which is an easy grading tool provided to them by the university.
In a large amount of classes on campus, professors ask students to submit homework assignments and even tests via Blackboard. Eastern even offers training to professors who are unsure how to use it. No excuse exists for our professors to not be keeping students constantly up-to-date on their grades.
People come to college to learn. A major part of learning is receiving academic feedback. Students cannot be expected to improve academically if we can’t even find out how we are doing in our classes. By not giving students an accurate reflection of their actual performance in the course, they are not truly learning and growing.
Perhaps the most important aspect to remember is students pay to come to this institution. As students, we deserve to get this academic feedback from educated professionals in our fields, especially if we pay to get that feedback.
Professors also receive no punishment for failing to posting grades, even at midterm. Often times, professors will post what is known as “blanket grades” for students at midterm. This method of “blanket grading” just to have some kind of grade is not beneficial for the student or the teacher.
Some professors even put final grades in late causing students to wait two weeks after classes have already ended to find out their grades.
Students are left uninformed and professors just make more work for themselves during the second half of the semester by postponing updating grades. The true tragedy is some students are completely unaware of their progress in classes until they receive that final grade.
We want to take the grading policy idea to a broader interpretation. We want the policy to be applied across the board to all students, andot just those in lower-level general education courses.
If anything, seniors are the category needing to know their grades on a regular basis because of their approaching graduation and possible employment. Several employers may want to know students’ current courses and grades. Professors putting up “blanket grades” are not going to help graduating seniors in any way.
Many professors will just tell students to come visit them during office hours to get their grades. Often times, these office hours are not convenient to all students.
We at The Progress fully support SGA’s initiative to get a more frequent grading policy into effect and hope the organization continues to push and make the policy grow even more. An important concept to remember is in order for this policy to actually work every professor, student and administrator has to be on board. Otherwise, we are just asking for another failure.