UGA says no to prof’s plan to let students grade themselves

University of Georgia students hoping to grade themselves in a business course won’t get to do so after all.

 

University officials forced the professor of the class to remove his “stress reduction policy” from his web page.

Rick Watson, the Terry College of Business’ J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy, promised in the policy that students could grade themselves if they found tests or other aspects of the fall semester courses unduly stressful. Students also could also drop out of group work if they found that too stressful.

The policy was widely ridiculed as it exploded across social media and news sites Monday after reporter Andrew Gockowski featured it in an article on the Campus Reform website.

Articles appeared under headlines such as “University of Georgia Allows Students to Choose Their Own Grades” and “College Appeases Entitled Students with ‘Stress Policy’ Regarding Grades.” The stories also attracted ridicule from online commenters.

Watson’s policy also told students that all tests and exams would be open book and open notes, including material they could find on laptop computers, and that all exams will be designed to be completed in half the allotted time for most students.

In addition, tests and exams would be “designed to allow low level mastery of the course material,” according to the policy.

But it’s not going to happen, according to the dean of UGA’s Terry College of Business.

“Rest assured that this ill-advised proposal will not be implemented in any Terry classroom,” wrote Dean Benjamin Ayers.

Here is the full text of Ayers’ statement, released by the university Tuesday.

“A recent online report published a syllabus that a Terry College of Business professor had placed on his website. The syllabus stated that his grading policy would allow students inappropriate input into the assignment of their own grades. I want you to know that the syllabus did not conform with the University’s rigorous expectations and policy regarding academic standards for grading. I have explained this discrepancy to the professor, and he has removed the statement from his syllabus. Rest assured that this ill-advised proposal will not be implemented in any Terry classroom.”

Watson has taught at UGA since 1989 and is recognized as a leading scholar in database management, information systems and environmentally sustainable development.

He also started the Global Text Project, which gives students, especially in developing countries, access to dozens of open source free textbooks.

Follow Lee Shearer at www.facebook.com/LeeShearerABH or https://twitter.com/LeeShearer.

 

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