The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th

Student government wants to delay new contextualized grading plan

“We’re in very untested waters, and we’re not testing the waters before we jump in,” said Student Body Vice President Kyle Villemain. “There’s been limited student involvement. There’s been limited student feedback.”

Contextualized grading aims to combat three concerns: grade inflation, grade compression and systematic grading inequality.

Transcripts will include the median grade of the course, the percentile ranking of the student compared to others in the class and a schedule point average — an average of the median grades for the classes the student is enrolled in.

“What we’re seeking to do with contextualized grading is at least provide some transparency so readers of transcripts can understand how those particular grades fit into a bigger context,” said professor of sociology Andrew Perrin.

Perrin led design implementation of the contextualized grading process during his two years as chairman of the Educational Policy Committee.

He said he hopes contextualized grading provides students with incentive to focus on classes that are intellectually beneficial rather than ?classes that will pad their grade point averages.

Student Body President Andrew Powell said he has several concerns about contextualized grading.

“It shouldn’t just be about differentiating students against each other,” he said. “It should be about every student trying to maximize their potential and not just trying to be better than your neighbor.”

Students agreed contextualized grading is problematic.

“In my opinion, I think it’s almost too much information,” senior Parag Satsangi said.

“I feel like it can be an information overload.”

Villemain said the new transcript is difficult to read, saying Perrin himself had trouble locating where the GPA was on the page during a presentation.

Some students wish they had a say in the matter.

“If you had an option, that would be better,” sophomore Jerrold Fernandes said.

Senior Brittanie Howard said contextualized grading doesn’t hold faculty accountable for their performance.

“(Instructors are) not being held accountable to why students are getting Cs and Ds in classes when they had a 4.5 (GPA) in high school,” she said. “Tell the teachers to step their game up.”


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