Sunday, November 30, 2008

Panel Discussion on Grading Practices

There will be a panel discussion about grading practices here at University of Wisconsin - Madison this week.

Wednesday Dec. 3, 7:00-9:00 pm

Health Sciences Learning Center
750 Highland Ave.


Prof. Harry Brighouse, UW Philosophy
Prof. Lester Hunt, UW Philosophy
Prof. Richard Kamber, College of New Jersey Philosophy
Dean Robert Golden, UW School of Medicine

The panel was prompted by two recent events. One is a proposal at the UW medical school, recently approved, to grade first year medical students on a pass/fail basis only. The dean of the medical school will be speaking on this plan.

The other event is the recent publication of a book of essays I edited and contributed to on issues surrounding the phenomenon generally known as "grade inflation." The other speakers on the panel, aside from Dean Golden, are contributors to the book.

Obviously, one of the issues that will come up is whether some of the same objections that are raised against grade inflation also apply to switching to a pass/fail system such as this one.

I plan to say that grading practices today make little coherent sense, university wide, and that the problem (if that is what it is) may be impossible to remedy without radical institutional changes.


Jeremy said...

Very, very interesting. I have long suspected there was something amiss when it came to the grading patterns that i have noticed here at the university (i am a junior). Also, check this out, Could it be part of the same nihilisitic trends (if we can even call them that anymore, they seem too pervasive to just be called trends) that Nietzsche warned us about?

P.S. Sorry about the linking, i'm a little new at this

Lester Hunt said...

That link -- yikes!! What's this crazy world coming to? I was actually surprised that students at religious schools cheat markedly more often than ones at secular private schools. I wonder what's going on there?