After the break, a neat graphic on grade inflation (which I saw on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish). Nothing specific to SIUC, where, at least in my experience, grade inflation is not particularly rampant. Of course, talk about retention rates can readily shade over into grading pressure, but I didn't find the only administrative effort on this front known to me particularly heinous (their flagging of core courses that gave more than 20% of students Ds, Fs, Ws, or INCs). The one problem was their lumping the withdrawals and incompletes in with the Ds and Fs, as it amounted to an effort to pin faculty with all the responsibility for retaining students.
But that initiative led me to think again about my grading, so was worthwhile in my case. Certainly the distribution curve in my large lecture class looks rather more like 1960 than 2007 on the chart below--in fact, my distribution has sometimes been scarier for students, as I learned when forced to think this through by the administrative initiative. You may need to readjust when you are giving out many more Ds and Fs than your faculty peers are—though I find that almost all Fs and most Ds in my classes go to students who fail to turn in significant assignments. There's not much you can do about that. At any rate, rather than easy grades, I rely on my charm and outstanding good looks to assure high student evaluations.
Created by: Masters Degree