Earlier I said that letter grades don’t say much about learning. Here’s one quick example to get you thinking about that.
A student takes a course and gets the following marks out of 10:
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and one missing assignment
- And then writes the final exam and gets 95%.
- Assignments = 31/80 Exam = 95/100
Depending on how the teacher thinks about this, the student could get some very different final grades.
- Some teachers would say that 126/180 is 70% “C+”
- Some teachers might put more weight on the exam and come up with a “B”
- Some teachers might note the growth over time and the fact that the student had mastered the content for the exam – therefore 95% “A”
- Some teachers might note the missing assignment and say “incomplete” or “fail”
But what did the student learn?