Thank Heaven My Students Check My Work…

It was time to turn in mid-term grades, and I went with a very simple grading rubric:

  • 20% of quiz one
  • 20% of quiz two
  • 60% of test one

I downloaded all of the student grades from our online class management system (Blackboard) into Excel, and created my simple grading formula. I then converted each numeric score into a letter grade, and posted their letter grades into our student information system. It’s a process I’ve done well over a hundred times.

I then sent an email to my students letting them know I had posted their mid-term grade, and shared the formula I had used to determine their grade.

Shortly after sending that email, a student wrote to me and told me that he got a different grade than what I had posted when he did the calculation for himself.

I went back to my spreadsheet, and there was my mistake staring me right in the face.

When I had downloaded the grades from Blackboard, the grades came into my spreadsheet in the order that the quizzes and test had been given in: quiz one, test one, quiz two.

As a result, I ended up calculating their grades as follows:

  • 20% of quiz one
  • 20% of test one
  • 60% of quiz two

I had reversed the last two assessments.

It took me all of 30 seconds to recalculate their grades (you gotta love Excel), and then just a few minutes to repost their revised grades to the student information system.

I then had to send out another email letting the students know that I had made a mistake and that I had posted their correct grade.

For most of the students, there was no change; for some students the correct rubric increased their grade, and for some others, it lowered their grade. (I’m also guessing that many students had not yet checked what grade I had posted for them the first time, so they never saw the error).

Fortunately, these were just the mid-term grades, and it was easy enough to go in and fix their grades.

If this had been their final grades, it would have been a major headache to correct everything.

So hopefully I’ve learned my lesson about being extra careful about doing student grades (you’d think I’d already know that after 35 years).

And thankfully, if I do make a mistake, I am sure I can count on a student or two to let me know…


35 thoughts on “Thank Heaven My Students Check My Work…

  1. Good thing you had a student who was quick-on-the-ball. That student must be very smart and dedicated, and will likely become a rich and famous accountant one of these days.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We are humans – and we do err sometimes. It’s a good thing that this was caught before you were able to finalize your grades. You have a great auditor/accountant in the making with that one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to know they’re paying attention. Villanova 55 North Texas 40 as I’m typing this. Looks like you’re in good shape to move on to the Sweet 16. Lots of upsets this weekend. I saw that Loyola-Chicago took out the #1 seed in Illinois. Do you remember Sr. Jean from a couple of years ago? This concludes your NCAA basketball tourney report. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it comes to their grades, they are on top of things. And Nova looked good last night. And what another great story for Loyola-Chicago and Sr. Jean. It would be fun if Nova and Loyola made it to the Final Four…

      And I appreciate your reporting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These things happen – when I was at university I sat a 2 hour exam on sports marketing and pr.

    I completed the first section on marketing and realised the pr section of the exam was missing! This was the same for everyone else in the room forgot to attach the second paper!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The university used examiners who were retired folk making a little extra money, so he could do nothing about it!

        Fortunately the lecturer had to honour what was there as it was his mistake, though at the time I remember thinking all that time I spent revising sports pr that I didn’t get to use! 😅

        Liked by 2 people

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