This blogpost and podcast is for our colleagues in higher educations, professors, the world over.

This is #8 in our series on teaching: Course Evaluations

SC 98  #8. Course Evals: Grading

How is our grading perceived?

Excerpts from the podcast via iTunes or StitcherSmartRadio



Our personal reactions to the topic of grading and course evaluations:

  • After grades are submitted, we brace for the negotiation phase.
  • Students generally want to get their grade up higher than what was earned.
  • Students want their grade to be calculated in a way that is predicable and meaningful.
  • Given: The professor student relationship is governed by “the grade.”
  • Our students, many of them having just come from high school, where grades are everything, are heavily focused just on the grades.
  • What we want to move our students away from the letter of the grade itself, to focusing on an evaluation of learning.

Course Evaluation Grading Questions

The information given to students about how they would be graded is clear.

  • The basis for grading is the information we provide on the course syllabus.
  • We want to take the mystery out of the grading.

The clarity of the exam questions themselves.

  • This questions are always clear to me when I write them!
  • We like step back from an exam for a few days then revisit it to discover what could go wrong and revise.

The exam or assignments coverage of important aspects of the course.

  • How do our students perceive that we have sliced up the information and how we are assessing their learning of the information?
  • Grades are not punitive.
  • Grades are not designed to “catch the students,” but to help them to learn.
  • Student: “The textbook was a waste of my time.” Our students want their work to bear fruit.

The instructors comments on assignments and exams.

  • Students are only going to absorb a certain amount of information that we put in comments.
  • Students will always flip to the last page and look at their grade.
  • Electronic grading enables us to give very detailed explanations.

The helpfulness of assignments in understanding course materiel.

  • I want to make certain that my exams reflect the type of learning I want to see in the class.
  • As a student, I never really thought of exams as ways of helping me to learn.
  • It is helpful if we explain how we have designed exams as part of the learning process.
  • Carefully designed exams can help our students to think more deeply.

We hope this has been helpful for you think about grading and your course evaluations.

We welcome your feedback so we may continue to honor our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Right or control click here to download the MP3 of the Podcast.




SC 98 #8. Course Evals: Grading



In this series we are to talking about what is usually not discussed publicly, our course evaluations.

NEXT FRIDAY – – – – – SC 99 #9. Course Evals: Learning  /   Do our students believe they are learning?

SC 100#10. Course Evals: Student Engagement
Are our students engaging?



We will begin the new year with a series that we are very excited about…

Creating Positive Collegial Relationships


Creating Positive Collegial Relationships