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Subjectivity of Grading

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Subjectivity of Grading

Modern education allows little room for creativity which inhibits children creative development. Due to this development, students expect to be handed rubrics with direct guidelines on how to go about an assignment. However, college professors go abandon these methods and go for a more creative and open-ended approach. This type of approach is foreign to new college students since it is so vastly different from what they experienced in high school. So, new college students interrogate their professors about their grading system. In the essay, “Analyze, Don't Summarize” Professor Michael Berube recalls his experience with these type of students and how he dealt with them. Berube uses a personal narrative as well as an analogy to a sports talk show to explain his method of grading.

First, Berube recalls an interaction he had with one of the head professors when he was a teaching assistant. A student had asked Berube about his grading system and he had to finesse his way through an answer. Berube was disturbed enough to seek the head professor for help. His professor was angered by the question and fumed, “These students come in here with the idea that you ahem to explain yourself” (Berube 345). Before college, many students were told what to do then were sent off to do it, not allowing for any creative development. Thus, most students don't know any other way of going about papers. The piece of advice given to Berube is reflected in his graded methods many years later.

Second, Berube also relates a sports casting show to how he grades his papers. Berube believes that papers start as a “zero” and points are added and deducted as he reads. This method is also reflected in sports commentary shows. In the show, points are awarded for well constructed and correct claims while points are deducted for illogical ones. Berube later reflects this type of “grading system” when he says“extra points for wit and style, points off for mind numbing cliches…” (Berube 347). Just like judging in the sports show, Berube’s method of grading differs and there is no “constant”



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