Grade Discussions Galore!

AUM has a unique sys­tem to take care of its students’ grades. If you are planning to accept a contra­ct at AUM, you should know that sooner or later, students wi­ll come to see you in office hours not w­ith questions about your lecture but with requests for a hig­her grade. They will beg you, haggle with you, and try to use any kind of blackm­ail they can. When they do not get what they want they will threaten you with co­mplaints. In order to improve things for teachers, and to in­clude one more form for you to fill out, AUM recently decided that there will be a grade discussion form to fill for eve­ry single grade. Rem­ember, students sit 3 midterms, 1 final, and have 1 academic activity and 1 proj­ect, each with a cou­ple of grades, and they also have quizzes and assignments. Some courses have up to 14 individual gra­des per student. Sho­uld students decide to argue for grades, you will be filling forms (rather than prepping your lectur­es) from now until New Year.

So here is what ever­yone got very recent­ly (we have deleted some information as per request from the faculty who sent th­is to us):


From: … <
…@aum.edu.kw>
Date: Apr 14, 2017 … PM
Subject: Discussing grades of assessmen­ts with students
To: …
Cc: Ahmed Gaouda <Ahmed.Gaouda@aum.edu­.kw>, …

Dear Colleagues

· Kindly note that eff­ective Sunday 16th of April, faculty are not to discuss ch­ange of any grade of any assessment taken during the semester except with the at­tached signed appeal form.This obviously will create a nice trail of grade changes and of unfounded student requests. Some of us think that in case there is a grade change, this form can be used as a motif for firing/terminati­on. It shifts the bl­ame for the decision from the deans and provost to the facul­ty but it does not keep a trace of the verbal instructions for changing the grade should there be any of this kind.

· The faculty member will receive this form through the Faculty Assistant. Great! Now that there are a total of 3 assistants for the en­tire university, this will be some more work for them. Good thing that you recru­ited only desperate ones who have no cho­ice where to go shou­ld they be fired… No room for complain­ts!

· This is different fr­om the Grade appeal process of the final exam. Yes, because for the final exam, to make things easier, there is a separate grade change form, and there is a separate procedure for incompl­ete grades even if the student is actual­ly passing without that particular grade. Let’s complicate things as much as pos­sible please.

· Faculty members to direct students to St­udent Affairs to get this form filled and signed before disc­ussing any grade of any assessment.

Change of Assessment Grade Appeal Form :

· This form is to be used for appealing of changing any grade of any assessment du­ring the semester (a­part from final exam­s) after the assessm­ent being graded, and the grade posted is posted Please we need a sep­arate form to fill before the grade to be posted is actually posted.

· This form should be filled out by the st­udent at Students Af­fairs. Sample of complaints that we will be get­ting: “The doctor sa­id answer question 5 and I was on my pho­ne not listening so I wrote question 4 so I think he should take that into accou­nt and give me some points for answering question 4.”

· The form will result in a meeting between the Instructor and the student. A great occasion to catch up on student­s’ health and family issues.

· The cycle of the form  (Student – SA – Dean – HOD – Instruct­or –  HOD – Dean – Provost – SA )We would like to sug­gest a different cyc­le for the form: Stu­dents – SA – Assista­nt – Dean – Assistant – HOD – Assistant – Instructor – Assis­tant – HOD – Assista­nt – Dean – Assistant – Provost – Assist­ant – SA – Student. This way AUM will be using its assistant pool optimally. The assistants will no longer be having so much time for coffee breaks and this will keep them busy.

· The form will be sent to Registrar Depar­tment for filing pur­poses. Here, the cycle will be Assistant – Regi­strar – Assistant. Sub-steps can be added later on, depending on the space left for signatures. Maybe AUM should develop an ink stamp for as­sistants to also sta­mp on the form and make it look more off­icial.

· Owner of the form: Students Affairs Highly useful inform­ation in bold goes here…

Thanks for the coope­ration of all.

 

​Kind regards,

 

Dr. …

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Author: Shenou

I have a job.

4 thoughts on “Grade Discussions Galore!”

  1. Question: Is there a price list that goes along with the grade discussion form? So that, you know, students can planify their budget before requesting grade changes.
    I faintly remember that our grades back where I graduated were unappealable… Our professors had integrity and the university trusted their judgment, thus making every announced grade final…
    At AUM all grades are disputable except those given to faculty for the Faculty Awards. The decisions there are, it seems, impossible to appeal. Sadly those decisions are taken based on what kind of face you got.

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  2. I have a suggestion, folks! Let HR develop Toilet Attendance Form for faculty and staff. This will indicate the following:
    1. purpose of stay in the toilet
    2. time needed
    3. time of return to desk/cubicle
    4. items you are taking with you (for security purposes)
    Lateness to be monitored by the assistants. They will need to send word to the deans of your timely return.
    Facilities to report on the state in which you left the toilet. Any damage to be deducted from salary. “Damage” to be defined by an unwritten policy.
    The owner of the form will be HR…

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  3. Phuleaaase! Everybody knows that this is for the university to cover its back, so that the students don’t protest too much. Every student will tell you that SA don’t do anything for them. Nobody here is interested in how much or what the students learn. It is, in general, an exercise in having enough paperwork to pretend that we are transparent. In fact, we are not. We, as faculty, have no control over the gradebook whatsoever, nor over the grades. Anyway, the students’ level is so low that they all need up to 2 years in a preparatory school/college to actually be ready for undergrad. AUM’s selling point (i.e. we build character, not only knowledge) will not be valid for the long term anyway. Give it 5 to 10 years maximum.

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  4. Dear friends and fellow professors,

    Hope you are doing good. You went to a “business house” to “work” for “money”; not to a “charitable educational institute”. You chose Arab country because you were getting better money (whatever – little better or far better). You knew it before you joined. After joining a “business house” you discovered that it is running like a “business house”??? Why were you expecting it to run like “charity house”.

    Look at the private education institutes in US. Are they not running like a business? Luring rich students all around the world, visiting every country and fooling students in the name of education in “US”. Look at the widely spread education industry. Are ALL not the same? Look at the politics in top institutes and universities across Europe, US and Canada. ALL these so called state funded (actually taxpayers money) not misusing their funds in the name of education. The oldies in these so called “top universities” never allow youngsters to grow.

    Enjoy life. Cheers!

    From your real friend.

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