Feeling grumpy this morning…. a student came to me after the final exam to complain that s/he hadn’t received a B- for his/her work, which was generally pretty poor. Apparently s/he and “a lot of others in the class” were confused by the following language in my syllabus:
Completing these requirements adequately will earn you a B- in the course. Completing them exceptionally well will earn you a B, B+, A-, or A, depending on the quality of work.
The student said s/he had taken the class as an elective and “didn’t need it,” indeed “would have dropped it” if s/he had understood the policy correctly. In fact, s/he went so far as to say “I don’t even understand the concepts of the course. I stayed in it because of the contract,” by which was meant the excerpt above.
We had a conversation about it this morning. Apparently “adequate” was interpreted as “to my ability,” i.e., whatever is turned in should receive no less than a B- since its very presence is prima facie evidence of adequacy. I offered this page in response. Am I just becoming a grumpy old man? Am I one already? Should I rewrite the syllabus language?