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View Diary: Warnings From The Trenches (188 comments)

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  •  They aren't learning to write in college either. (7+ / 0-)

    I was a graduate student and teaching assistant at a large public university in the late 90s. My students were both undergraduates and lower level graduate students and most of the classes I taught had projects that involved a substantial amount of writing. The writing was generally awful. I expected the grad students to be a lot better, after all they already had a BA under their belt, than the undergrads but they typically were not.

    I had to go to the professors I was working for and ask them what the hell I was supposed to do with these papers because if English grammar and usage were part of the grade at least ¾ of them would get a C or worse. I was told that my mandate was to grade them on content because I was supposed to be teaching them architecture and not remedial English. I thought the ‘not my job’ approach was sad, nonetheless, as teacherken mentions with the 3 minutes vs. 5 minutes to grade something, if I had corrected grammar and usage errors everywhere I saw them I would have doubled my time spent grading, which I wouldn’t have been paid for.

    The ‘content only’ grading approach yielded some strange results. I had several students who were not native English speakers and were not fluent to the degree someone pursuing a graduate degree should be. Nonetheless, in reading their papers I could tell they grasped the material so they earned good grades per the rubric we were grading under. However, relative to reality, i.e.: the workplace, these students were screwed because they can’t communicate in standard written English.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:15:46 PM PST

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