Published on 2012/03/12
Effort In Grading
Education should have more of a focus on preparing students for life in the real world workforce, where results are more important than the effort put in to get there. Photo by Tommy Hemmert Oleson.

I believe effort shouldn’t be given extra credit in final exams (whether or not the level of student effort should be considered when assigning grades at the college level) because if you take a step back or look at the real world it simply cannot be allowed to happen.

In order for the student to write their exams, they would have had to do some research, learn more about what the assignment and tutors are asking of them and answer the questions etc thereby fulfilling their requirements which can be compared to the marking scheme. The overall grade received would reflect whether the student did or did not fulfill the requirements of what was being asked of them?

If the grade is low, the student either did not understand what was being asked of them or did not commit sufficient effort to gain the desired grade that reflects the student’s ability. However if the student was conscientious, more preparation and feedback would have been sought from the teacher, thereby understanding what was required and the result would reflect the students ability. The end result of the assignment will be down to ability and preparation. If marks vary it is because some students excel in different areas –academic/vocational.

I also believe that education should have more of a focus on getting the student ready for the real world. The student should be armed with the necessary skills and be competent in whatever job they apply for. The harsh reality is that life is a competition whether it be to represent the school, get a job, girlfriend etc.

If you cannot do the job and are not up to the task the door is always the option. If a pupil is dyslexic in the real world there are very few allowances made. Imagine sitting in the office and I say to Raj –Hey Raj, have you completed the work I set you? No, I need more time because I am dyslexic. In reality time is money. I will let you think about that one before I say something that is not politically correct.

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Readers Comments

Faith Holden 2012/03/12 at 9:49 am

Wait hold on now – I think we’ve made great strides at including differently abled people into today’s workforce! We make concessions and make sure the work suits their needs and abilities, the same way we do for anyone and everyone else!

Karen 2012/03/14 at 11:42 pm

I always tell students “there are no A’s for effort at work”. However, grading can be complex, especially when we evaluate things like written essays or deal with student populations and classes where all pupils don’t begin on day one with an equal background. In the real world (at least in the USA) employers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for differently abled employees. And a smart manager builds a team with a wide variety of skills/people. No, I am not saying that educators should not encourage hard work and a goal of excellence in output. This work will take a while since we have many students who suffered from grade inflation and were never taught or coached on things like the proper way to study, manage time or interact with instructors. It’s not enough to find the problem; we must all dig in and start fixing it.

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