Monday, December 14, 2009


As of about 2:30 today I was caught up in evaluating the reflections portfolios. For each of you who had submitted that final blog post, you should find in Compass an evaluation message in a discussion topic just for you along with a numerical score. As the rest come in I will try to get at them with no more than 24 hour turnover.

To keep my own intrinsic motivation intact in doing this I'm avoiding doing the clerical part of this work till the end, meaning I've not yet created a spreadsheet with scores and not looked at your overall performance for the course based on those. Here I just want to tell you what I plan to do.

If you've been a professor as long as I have you learn to "massage" grade information to produce a desired outcome, which for me is to minimize if not eliminate conversations with students of the form, "Professor, I was so close. If I only had x more points I could have had a (one grade higher) instead of a (what they were actually assigned). All the bargaining power is with the students in these conversations, and in a course like ours where the grading is clearly subjective and there is no certification of competency in the subject that needs to be upheld (but see my comment to R. Irfan's portfolio post), my belief is to go to the equilibrium of that bargaining game straight away and not have the conversation at all. This is consistent with my statement when we had the in class discussion about the reflections and I talked about how they should be graded - effort not outcome. That's my intent here.

For the class project, subgroups, I've not yet evaluated the work. Will figure out how to give the feedback to you when I do.

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