Provisional Grade Report
We are now able to post the provisional grades for the course. We may make updates to the grade record, but this posting will not be updated.
Screw-up by the Registrar's Office The grades were submitted on-line to the Registrar's Office for 7 May 2007. Although the grade submission process seemed to go well, the Registrar's Office screwed up and grades for students with last names A-C were left without a grade, with no guarantees that the others were correct either. The grades have now been resubmitted and should be reposted correctly in a few days. The new system was supposed to clean up all these errors, but there you go.
By now you should be familiar with the course format and the format for these kinds of grade reports.
The Participation Grade The only new element is the participation grade. This is worth 5%, and many students assume that if they attended all the classes, they would get 5/5 for participation, but this is not how it works. First, we allocate a base participation score to each student, representing the 'average' of 70% typical in these large-intake 1000-level courses. Thus each student gets a base score of 3.5 out of 5. Then we subtract 0.5 for each assignment missed (this reflects attendance).
Then we ask each TA to score each student on a scale of -2 to +2. This allows the TA to tell us who was brilliant in class participation, and who wasn't. One TA refused to distinguish between students, but most participated. Then we add up the various components to create a participation grade out of 5, which actually ranges form 0 to 5.5 (score of 3.5+ perfect attendance +the TA was impressed). This allows us to reflect some of the important differences in class participation.
Overall Grade. When we have calculated the overall grade for each student we sometimes find that the distribution of grades is a little wonky, with too few people getting 'A' and 'A+' grades. Usually the average is in about the right place, but the top end of the grade range seems a little frugal. As course director I get to fix this, by promoting some of the upper grade range upwards. As a result, if you got 78%, you got an 'A', while the 'B+' grades start at about 74%. We had about the right number of C+ and B grades, so no real change there.
Errors. We have tried to get this grade record correct, but there may be errors. If you think an error has been made, there are two ways to go. Either drop off the graded assignment to me (Richard Anderson), so I can see the correct information, or get your TA to e-mail the correct information to me. The TAs and myself are not on contract during the summer, so you will have to be patient. But grade errors can and will be corrected if you can show proof.
Grade Disputes. Sometimes a student doesn't like the grade they got, but has to accept that it was correctly recorded and calculated. You have rights to have some of the work reappraised, but you do this through the Undergraduate Programme Director, and you have to do so by a deadline.
Grade Disasters. If you are a first year student and you really tanked in this course, the Petitions Committee is usually pretty understanding in allowing you to drop the course.