UCD Grading Approval Process to Change

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In light of Covid-19 disruptions to the college calendar, University Management have made the decision that the previous provisional results period will not be held allowing students to freely repeal their grades in a formal two week window before final results …” (more)

[Eve Moore, College Tribune, 17 November]

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The Moral Problem of Grading: An Extended Analysis

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Grading is the bane of most academics’ lives. Several times a year the working academic will be required to grade the students in their classes. Academics often complain about this process – begrudging both the time it takes and the mind-numbing nature of the task – but rarely think about its ethics …” (more)

[John Danaher, Philosophical Disquisitions, 27 February]


Calls For Minimum Standards And Guidelines On Grading Practices

Posted in Teaching on February 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Grading practices are fundamental to the university as an institution. After multiple interviews with UCD tutors citing a strong possibility of malpractice occurring within the UCD grading structure, the Tribune conducted an investigation into the matter …” (more)

[Conor Capplis, College Tribune, 12 February]

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Grudge matches

Posted in Research, Teaching on January 10th, 2019 by steve

“One of the things that students find most puzzling about university exams is that markers (or graders for US friends) can give high marks to well argued, well referenced answers with which they strongly disagree. This is perhaps helped by the fact that in Cambridge, in my faculty at least, exams are not regularly marked by those who taught the course …” (more)

[Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement, 9 January]

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The joys of marking … or ‘grading’

Posted in Teaching on June 4th, 2018 by steve

“If there is one thing that follows showing up at an exam room, it’s a pile of scripts to mark on the kitchen table (or to ‘grade’ as my American colleagues would say … in fact a Californian friend observed after my last post that almost all the technical terms for exams are different across the Atlantic, ‘invigilating’ vs ‘proctoring’, ‘sitting vs taking’ etc) …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 3 June]

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Contracts, complaints and unintended consequences

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on August 7th, 2017 by steve

“Whenever a minister announces a potential extension to the rights of students, I’ve started to notice a familiar pattern, and Jo Johnson’s announcement of an OfS consultation on the content of student contracts (his own little regulatory dead cat on the fees and debt table) is a case in point …” (more)

[Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe, 7 August]

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Lecturer suing National College of Ireland called 10% reduction from reassessement ‘unbelievable’

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on May 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A lecturer told the High Court it was ‘unbelievable’ that grades on eight dissertations for a Masters programme in his college would be marked down by 10% across the board …” (more)

[Ann O’Loughlin, BreakingNews.ie, 16 May]

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Dear student, I just don’t have time to mark your essay properly

Posted in Teaching on May 20th, 2016 by steve

UK“In an ideal world, your work would be read by an engaged, enthusiastic professional – but the reality is very, very different …” (more)

[Guardian, 20 May]

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Exams, and dumbing down

Posted in Teaching on June 1st, 2015 by steve

UK“I am just about to start marking a load of degree exams. It is a big job and one that you can’t skimp (think – whenever you are tempted – would I want the person examining my child to skimp? No.) And it is always interesting and charged …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 31 May]

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Academics under pressure to bump up student grades, Guardian survey shows

Posted in Teaching on May 18th, 2015 by steve

UK“Academics say teaching reforms are damaging the quality of education and making their workloads unmanageable. Almost half of academics have experienced pressure in the last three years to bump up student grades or stop students failing, according to a Guardian survey of university staff …” (more)

[Claire Shaw and Rebecca Ratcliffe, Guardian, 18 May]

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Grades Are Based on Merit, College Insists

Posted in Teaching on October 28th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“There is ‘internal consistency’ in the awarding of first and upper second-class honours degrees across the past ten years, Trinity College Dublin has said. The comment has been offered as a response to a recent Irish Times report that Trinity students are more likely to graduate with a first or 2.1 degree than students in any of the state’s other universities …” (more)

[Patrick Lavelle, University Times, 28 October]

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Grade Inflation at Third-Level #MyTwoCents

Posted in Teaching on October 17th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Why is it that if students work harder and get better grades that the media latch on to the ‘grade inflation’ bandwagon? This week the Irish Times blasts that ‘DCU, UCC award more “firsts” in new indicator of grade inflation’ and that some students ‘have a much higher chance of graduating with a first class honours degree than other college-goers’ …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 17 October]

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Are Irish university students getting smarter?

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Are students becoming smarter or are university honours qualifications becoming easier to obtain? Controversy over grade inflation rumbles on with pressure being exerted from inside and outside of the educational system …” (more)

[Irish Times, 15 October]

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Grade inflation?

Posted in Teaching on October 14th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Joe Humphreys (‘Are university grades being inflated to suit jobs market?’), October 13th suggests that companies demanding a first or 2.1 for entry level jobs or internships is a factor in the proportion of such degrees awarded …” (more)

[James Quinn, Irish Times, 14 October]

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Grade Inflation Again!

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“This is my last post for a while due to changing circumstances. It’ll be back in the New Year I hope. One of the core drivers of the grade inflation debate is the idea that the ‘quality’ of the student intake should correlate (strongly?) with the grade distribution on exit …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 October]

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DCU, UCC award more ‘firsts’ in new indicator of grade inflation

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Students attending Dublin City University (DCU) or University College Cork (UCC) have a much higher chance of graduating with a first class honours degree than other college-goers, new figures show in a fresh indicator of ‘grade inflation’ …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 October]

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Are university grades being inflated to suit jobs market?

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Education may be priceless, but increasingly the marketplace is putting a monetary value on a 2.1. For a long time, people wishing to do postgraduate studies had to obtain this grade, or higher (a “first”), in what was meant to be a marker of academic aptitude …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 October]

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Trinity hails ‘exceptionally bright’ psychology students as 97% get a 2.1

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“What’s the easiest course in which to get a first? Computer science and software engineering at Maynooth University has relatively strong credentials, with 38 per cent of students over the past five years receiving the top grade …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 October]

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‘I’m sorry but I’m your professor, not your friend’ via @globeandmail

Posted in Teaching on September 25th, 2013 by steve

“Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail in an article by Janni Aragon, published an article on September 9th last entitled I’m sorry but I’m your professor, not your friend. First, I am not a ‘Professor’ – I am a Lecturer, but if I worked in the same role in America I would be called Professor O’Loughlin (I like the sound of that!) …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 25 September]


Why exam results should be getting better all the time

Posted in Teaching on August 16th, 2013 by steve

“… No doubt there is some element of grade inflation. But my guess is that most of the improvement in exam results is down to the factors that are likely to explain the Flynn effect, with the notion of grade inflation masking recognition that real progress is happening …” (more)

[Gary Thomas, Times Higher Education, 15 August]

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