Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Open Letter to Students Regarding Your Grade: More From Dr. Crazy

Something interesting from Dr. Crazy over at www.crazyphd.blogspot.com:

"Dear Students,

I realize that your whole life people have been telling you that if you put in x amount of effort (whatever that x stands for), your reward will be a good grade. The problem, sadly, is that this isn't actually going to be the truth for every student at all times.Please don't look at me in that horrified way. I know. At first what I am saying seems completely insane. Illogical. Logically, one could say the following:

1. Tracy spends a lot of time on her schoolwork and works hard at her schoolwork.
2. Tracy has a 4.0 grade point average.
3. Tracy has a 4.0 grade point average because she spends a lot of time on her schoolwork and works hard at her schoolwork.

This is what is known as a logical fallacy. There isn't necessarily a correlation between the grade that you earn and

a. the number of hours one spends studying/writing a paper or
b. the amount of effort one puts into studying/writing a paper.

I am grading you not on effort or time spent but on the quality of the work that your effort or time has produced. Sadly, it is entirely possible to spend hours and hours and blood sweat and tears and still to produce a piece of crap. And my grade is based on what you turn in to me. Period. How hard you work, ultimately, does not matter if what you have produced

a. does not meet the basic requirements of the assignment,
b. is poorly thought out,
c. is insufficiently supported.

I know. It's mind-blowing to realize that you've been lied to for all these years.

As always,

Dr. Crazy"

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