Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Grading Policies

Grading Policies

  • I use a grading software program—“MicroGrade” (by now-defunct Chariot Software)—that has proven over many years now to be excellent, but (like all computer software) it has some limitations.
  • In essence, it (MicroGrade) computes your exact grade on the basis of the percentage weights I assign.
  • For example: in my business ethics classes, I give the following weights (spelled out precisely in the syllabus for the course) : Midterm #1 = 20%; midterm #2 = 20%; Final Exam = 25%; three short papers = 5% each; term paper = 10%; attendance = 5%; and participation = 5%.
  • To compute any student’s final grade, the program simply adds together the student’s final percentage score on each component multiplied by its weight.
  • In our example: final % = (midterm #1 %)(.2) + (midterm #2 %)(.2) + (final exam %)(.25) + (short paper #1 %)(.05) + (short paper #2 %)(.05) + (short paper #3 %)(.05) + (term paper %)(.1) + (attendance %)(.05) + (participation %)(.05).
  • My first policy is this: I will never give you less than the score computed by Mr. (or Ms.?) computer.
  • However, my second policy is that I will on occasion—and at my sole discretion!—record a higher grade, though that will not show up on the grading tab but only in the Titan on-line system.
  • The three (and generally only three) factors that will incline me to elevate the computed grade:
    1. Final exam score (because in my classes, final exams are invariably cumulative);
    2. Attendance score (if you are not committed to attending class with extra commitment, don’t expect me to give your extra consideration in grading);
    3. When applicable, the term paper (which expresses your unique contribution to the thought in the course).
  • Factors that do not affect my grading:
    1. Irrelevant aspects of your personal life;
    2. You non-academic commitments (such as school sports or your job—I will excuse absences on that basis, but not increase you overall grade);
    3. How hard you say you worked (how would I know, and anyway, why would it matter?);
    4. Your personal desires for the future (like your “need” to get into med school);
    5. Your regrets about your failure to perform—e.g., you realize now that participation and attendance matter.
  • This brings up the third policy: I do not give extra-credit assignments.  Upshot: take all assignments seriously, and give them your best efforts.