Friday, August 24, 2007


Ask My Readers: Grade Appeals

(I'm thinking out loud in this post, looking for constructive suggestions. This is not some sort of position paper.)

How does your college handle grade appeals by students? Has it found a fair, reasonable, and aboveboard way?

I ask because we're going through another catalog revision, and having taken a fresh look at some sections that nobody has looked at in a while, I found a pretty untenable grade appeal process. I've called it to my colleagues' attention, who agree that the existing policy doesn't make sense, but we aren't quite sure what to propose to replace it.

(A policy like this would have to be approved by the Academic Standards Committee, which is composed primarily of faculty, so there's no spectre of administrative micromanagement here. We can propose or suggest, but we can't enact. But I don't want to propose anything stupid, since that doesn't solve anything.)

I'm thinking that some of the parameters for a reasonable policy might be:

Has your college found a reasonable balance that gives faculty the confidence that it won't be sold out at every complaint, but that still offers a wronged student a remedy? If so, how does that work?

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