With the start of vacation, the last semester results are released on the Internet. As a competitive society, competition for getting good results is keen between college students. And there are not only one or two students who think at this season when grades are uploaded, 'why did I get this grades? Therefore, The Dankook Herald investigated how students' grades are evaluated and how does our university manages it.
|Each semester when students check their credit, they ruminate about their scores
First, our university's accrediting system is mainly relative evaluation. So, professors use the element of evaluation as part of the final grade. Prof. Sung Eun-Ae in English Language and Literature in College of Humanities at Jukjeon campus said "basically, 20% of attendance is almost same. In my department's case, the marks reflect quizzes, presentations and general knowledge about the subject makes up 40% and each middle and final exams make up about 20%. However, this 80% would be different in subjects and colleges" Then, are there students complaining about the school's results? Prof. Hwang Pil-Hong in the College of Humanities in Jukjeon campus said "there were some complaints about why the grade is too low or why students pass the course". And Prof. Sung said "In my case, I usually do not receive complaints from students about results because I announce each successive mark to the students so they can predict their results at the end." And then she said that "the complaints I received sometimes were of two kinds: the first one is students asking for better grades for their scholarship and transcript for graduation. And the second one is that difference between my evaluation and the students’ self-evaluation about their writing ability. The two professors' answers are almost the same regarding the complaints: all evaluation is conducted on the basis that all students study and try "hard" even if all the circumstances are different. It would be impossible to evaluate unfairly especially under relative evaluation." As a result, the grade rate is defined by the relative evaluation system so, that it is impossible to evaluate each students' individual ability.
Then, is it possible to change the relative evaluation into absolute evaluation?
According to the manager of Division of Educational Support, our country is now suffering from a 'high grade' inflation, what is meant is that the absolute evaluation system gives an excessive number of As to students. Today's tendency is to restrict the quotas of marks and is strict with the credit evaluation so the relative evaluation system is on the raise.
The credit evaluation is at the discretion of each professor and does our school control that discretion? The manager said "this authority resides in every professor of all universities. The credit evaluation is a self-regulation of professors like primary and secondary school teachers. Therefore, we can not interfere with their autonomy but what do we do is monitor the credit.
Do we always have to request the credit reconsideration to professors?
The credit reconsideration period can be described as an "objection and demand period". In that period every student requests their credit and asks the professors. However, this demand is a little bit overloaded because students have to talk with their professors about each subject. That is why some students just tolerate the marks that they receive and accept them. The manager said "in this case, there is no choice but to ask professors. I want to say that professors can modify the credit in accordance what you request. As an example, recently a student demanded his professor review a grade but, that result was reasonable from professor's point of view as he saw it comparing every student's effort. One of the demands that students make is about grades for graduation and scholarship and this is a cause of conflict between the professor and student. It is a complicated situation but for that reason we can not participate in this matter because this may be an educational infringement." And he continued saying "as evaluation concerns mainly professors' autonomy, students might think they put the grade according to their personal preference. I believe this is a matter of their conscience. I just hope that never happens in our school and not be troublesome as we have duty to make a correct evaluation.
Apart from that, he explained about the future plan. "We are still under consideration but what we are looking to reinforce the exam proctor and relative evaluation of requisite tasks (laboratory course, physical education practice, art practice, etc). There is an argument that cheating is a problem in making a correct evaluation so, we are going to reinforce the credit evaluation system at the school itself starting from 2011. Also we are examining every requisite task, which is part of the absolute evaluation system, to change into a relative evaluation system to restrict the credit system." He continued " there are some professors that show the scores in the public but I think this does not protect personal information and it is not the right way to inform students of the results. Therefore, we are examining a program that students can check their marks personally. Also we are planing to mark every requisite score in school records so, students can easily predict what grade they will get at the end of the semester.
It is true that the professor's right is huge to evaluate grades. So, professors might misuse that power evaluate students by personal preference. Of course, it is very difficult to exclude the professors' subjective view. But it is also a fact that the professors are under the university relative evaluation system and give grades with the belief that students study hard. Therefore, the university is looking for the way to find an efficient evaluation system. However, the most important thing will be that professors and students' compromise their attitudes to each other.
Kim Ka-Yeon and Heo Ji-Soo firstname.lastname@example.org