Notes from the Student Caring Podcast for Professors

SC 149 The Grade Challenge

Have you heard these comments?

STUDENT: There’s no way I got that grade!

STUDENT: I am not quite sure I know how I did in the course, I just want to get a better grade.

This line of thought is usually followed by an attempt at a grade negotiation with the prof.


Tips for professors:

  • Keep a good grade book.
  • All along the way, remind your students to check their grades.
  • Stand firm when communicating during a grade dispute.
  • From the first assignment, our grading approach lays the foundation for the final grade.
  • Students may ask: “Is there anything I can do to improve my grade?”
    • All too often, we hear this question.
    • To accommodate this, it should be a terrific reason.
    • Every time we make a choice, it sets the standard for all current and future students.
  • Your student may not approach you directly and go over your head.
    • When this occurs, your chair or dean should refer them back to you.
    • The professor has the knowledge and control of the grading.
    • After the initial conversation, if the student still wants to pursue a grade change we refer them to the college policy. You are not under any obligation to continue to discuss the matter.
  • We are often challenged during these difficult situations with students.
  • The grade earned could be end of their college career.
  • This moment of truth could place them on academic probation.
  • We need to to the best that we possibly can to write exams that are fair and tell us what we need to know about the students progress.
  • Don’t second guess your decision to the student, this can communicate that you are not certain about what you are doing.


 We wish for you all, a wonderful holiday break!

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Next week: Episode #150! The Christmas Episode


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Daniel & David

Professors - David & Daniel



SC 149 The Grade Challenge