Finals – It Shouldn’t Be About The Grade

Wait…before I forget: KH6KHCP7A9QZ (Technorati claim token).

Well it’s finals season; and of course, here I am, up at some un-G-dly hour because I had to produce 3 times the amount of work usually required in my courses, with an inflexible due date staring me in the face. But as much as I (and my peers) complain about finals, I must admit a good final gives you one heck of a confidence boost. More often than not, you get the syllabus for a course and when you see the requirements for the final, you just balk. But in the end, when you’re able to come out on top, you get a real sense of progress and accomplishment.

At least that is what it’s like in a perfect world.

I’m grateful, because in my Marketing Communications course this semester, I felt that the final did a good job at assessing our accrued knowledge as well as challenging us to become well-versed in this particular specialized area of marketing. But I’ve seen too often in the past where the final is hung over the heads of students to be the determining factor as to whether or not they pass the course or not. This is pretty easy to do if you make the final exam or project out to be more than 25% of the overall course grade.

I am far from being an expert in collegiate pedagogy, but I personally think it is wrong for a professor to structure a course this way. Yes, you want some sort of means by which to measure a student’s overall mastery of a subject. But you should also take into account factors such as time lapse (topics learned at the beginning of the course may be forgotten by the end), the prerequisite requirements and backgrounds of the students.

My group final in the Marketing Communications course is actually not due until Sunday. Although I produced my part, it still needs to be combined with my group and edited. I plan to write a synopsis, sometime after that. For now, I’m going to sleep :-D