Policies/Evaluation

From Gerald R. Lucas

Some requirements are weighed heavier in evaluation, but all are essential to successful completion of a class. I attempt to employ a holistic form of grading that allows for student failure and improvement throughout the semester.

For example, a student might do well on a final exam, but unsuccessfully pass the majority of reading quizzes. While a final tally of points might show this student was successful, in reality he has not passed all requirements, so may still fail the course.

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Grades

Letter grades are based upon a traditional ten-point scale and the holistic, qualitative evaluation of me, the professor.[1] See individual course descriptions for specific requirements.

Grades are your responsibility, so check them regularly (See Checking Your Grades below). If there’s ever a question concerning your grades or my evaluation process, please ask me. Also, if you ever see an error in your reported grades, please bring it to my attention as quickly as possible. Finally, if you have an issue with a final grade received in a course, please contact me before initiating a formal grievance. If there was an error, we can likely work it out.

Quantitative

Numerical grades are based on a point system. Each assignment will have a point value; the number of points will be added together at the end of the semester to see the maximum point value of the class. Your points will be divided by the maximum to get your final percentage.

Example of Point System: If the maximum value of all the points in a course is 200, and your points add up to 150, your final numerical grade will be a 75%, or a “C” (150 ÷ 200 = .75).

Grades have the following breakdown:

A 90–100% Exceptional, goes beyond assignment requirements
B 80–89% Good, goes beyond assignment requirements, but has room for improvement
C 70–79% Average, meets assignment requirements but has more room for improvement
D 60–69% Below average, but meets most requirements; usually some issue keeps it from being satisfactory
F 0–59% Unacceptable

Qualitative

Numerical grades are only part of the picture. I may also supply a holistic, qualitative evaluation based on a student’s progress in the course. For example, a student’s final numerical grade might total a 78%, but her progress, attendance, enthusiasm, engagement, and overall conscientiousness show a performance not reflected in the numbers.[2] It is my prerogative, in this instance, to consider these extra factors in assessment. A quantitative evaluation will only result in an improved grade and is never used as a punitive measure.

Checking Your Grades

The best way to find out how you’re doing in the course is to pay attention to feedback and turn every assignment on time. In my experience, the difference in letter grades often depends solely on just doing the assigned work. There really should never be confusion about how you’re performing in the class.

That said, you may request an overview of your standing during office hours or via email, and I can give you a progress report at any time. You should contact me if you think there’s an error in your grade, or if I have overlooked something. Please be as specific as possible. Also, you might want to check my expectations for written work and how those expectations correspond to letter grades (See Assignments).

Students may meet with me via Zoom to discuss grades. Before panicking or getting upset about any “harsh” evaluation, it’s always a good idea just to ask me about it.

Incompletes

This course will strictly abide by University and departmental policies regarding incompletes:

An incomplete can only be given if a small portion of the course work is missing and if you’re doing otherwise satisfactory work. “I” grades are not assigned automatically, but only upon consultation with me. You have one semester to remove an “I” grade; otherwise it automatically becomes an “F.”

Faculty Evaluations

MGA Policy

Student evaluations of faculty are administered online at the end of each term/session for all courses with five or more students. Students will receive an email containing a link to a survey for each course in which they are enrolled. All responses are anonymous.

Withdrawal Policy

MGA Policy

Students are encouraged to read the withdrawal policy before dropping/withdrawing from class.



notes

  1. For a more detailed explanation of grades, see “Letter Grade Descriptions.”
  2. See “How to Do Well in My Class” and “Student Behavior” for ways to help with a qualitative assessment.