But I Tried Really Hard! Articulating the Difference between Comprehension and Effort to Students
Round table discussion.
Facilitators: Mark Denaci, Danielle Egan, Elun Gabriel and Aswini Pai
An upset student walks into your office, shows you the graded copy of his or her essay/test/oral communication rubric/sculpture and says, "I don't understand why I got this grade? I tried really hard. Why did I only get a 2.0?" This roundtable discussion is meant to start a conversation about the vexed and complex questions surrounding student expectations, graded work, and the distinctions between effort and comprehension.
Some questions we will discuss are:
- How do we best articulate the distinction between effort and comprehension in our syllabi?
- Is there a place for effort in our courses? If so, where is it? If not, how do we make this more transparent?
- Are these conversations with students more of an issue for faculty members in the humanities, arts and interdisciplinary programs where there is never one "right" answer?
- How does this issue speak to larger questions about grades and grading more generally?
Listed below are the links to two short (less than 2 pages each) pieces from the NY Times and Chronicle for Higher Education that might be of interest and give a jump-start to the conversation. Please join us for this discussion. Coffee and cookies provided.