The Teaching Professor, February 2014 — “Getting Students to Talk about Those Diappointing Grades”
by Francesca Cocchi, Honors Interdisciplinary Scholar and VITAL Student Intern
What factors discourage students from initiating conversations with instructors when they receive lower grades than they feel they deserve?
A study by Wright (2013) reveals the top six reasons why students choose not to discuss their disappointing grades with their teachers. The most popular response related to the utility of the conversation, or the students’ perception that the conversation would not benefit them or improve the grade. In addition, students expressed that they did not initiate the conversation because they understood the reason for the grade, felt they could not approach the instructor, considered the grade not that important to them, were uncomfortable having a conversation about grades, or simply had other priorities, such as completing assignments for other courses.
How might this strategy inform our teaching? Students who choose not to talk with their instructors about disappointing grades close the door on opportunities to get additional feedback and avoid similar mistakes on subsequent assignments. Instructors miss out on the opportunity to learn how students understood a certain assignment and why they approached it the way they did. While students may have different reasons for not discussing disappointing grades, instructors can provide different venues of engaging students in such conversations throughout the course. According to Wright, “By giving greater attention to facilitating grade conversations instead of regulating grade disputes, instructors can enhance students’ understandings of the diverse benefits of discussing disappointing grades and their legitimate right to initiate them.” Your thoughts . . .
The February 2014 issue also features:
RFP Minigrant Proposal submission deadline: March 10, 2014
Food for Thought Schedule, Spring 2014
Falvey Memorial Library, Room 204
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 25 or Wednesday, March 26
Engagement in Hybrid and Online Courses
Register by March 21.
Tuesday, April 23 or Wednesday, April 24
Creativity: A Powerful, Personal Means for Engagement
Save the Date
Faculty Luncheon and Discussion: Education for Peace and Justice
Speakers include: Professor Paul Rosier (History)
and Professor Carol Anthony (Peace and Justice)
Thursday, March 20, 2014
1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
Corr Hall Lounge
Co-sponsored with: Center for Peace and Justice Education
Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference
Bryn Mawr College
May 21-22, 2014
Submission deadline: March 15, 2014
Information and Registration
Save the Date
Teaching and Learning Strategies 2014
Wednesday, May 14