Remember the days before college when you had to worry about report cards being sent to your house? You would get home everyday, a nervous wreck, wondering if your parents knew about the D you had in geometry. Well, those days are long gone. The only updates we get nowadays are the midterm grades halfway into the semester.
The Outlook staff thinks that midterm grades are for the most part, pointless. Some professors don’t have enough grades to give you a real idea of how you are doing in the class.
If you only have one or two grades so far in the semester, what does the midterm grade really mean? It just tells you how you did on your first exam and a paper. If the class only has one grade, does the result of a single multiple-choice test really explain how you are grasping the material?
Midterm grades also don’t factor in attendance and participation. If you are the type of person who attends all of your classes and actively raises your hand, your final grade is going to be a lot higher than the letter you receive from WebAdvisor.
Many professors downplay the importance of these grades we receive in the middle of the semester. Some give lower grades to keep the students working hard, while others tell their students that the grade is meaningless. Other instructors have said that showing improvement throughout the semester could change the weight of our grades, having things later in the semester become more significant than originally planned. If our instructors see the grades as a joke, why shouldn’t we?
There are members of the staff who are fans of receiving midterm grades. It is important to know where you are and if you need to improve. The midterm grade pretty much boils down to being a motivational tool for students.
Knowing your midterm grade can determine how much effort you need to put into a class. If you are just doing the minimum amount of work and not really trying, the midterm grade will let you know if that’s okay or if you need to kick it into gear and save yourself in the second half.
If you’re striving to get straight A’s and bring home a 4.0 GPA to Mom, midterms can be useful. You know you have to show some extra attention to the classes where you have a C+ or a B.
Too many professors avoid using eCampus. We have classes in which eCampus hasn’t been updated at all this semester. Even if a class posts the syllabus, they rarely update grades in a timely manner.
The Outlook staff suggests that the professors should use eCampus more often and post all of our grades throughout the semester. This would work like a grade book that students could follow to know exactly how they have been doing and where they need to improve. We should be able to know, whenever we want, what our grade would be if the semester ended today.
It may be difficult for professors to find the time to update eCampus as often as students would like them to. Many of the professors have multiple classes and over 100 students to worry about.
However, if students are able to balance homework, exams, papers and extracurricular activities, why can’t professors find time to post grades? The school added eCampus to keep the students informed, isn’t that what it should do? If everyone does their own part, it could eliminate a lot of complaints around campus of students who haven’t gotten their grades back and ease the uncertainty of academic standing.