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unfair grade..can I do antyhing about it

ilikeorangeilikeorange Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
edited December 2009 in College Life
So, classes for fall term ended. The grades are out, I feel like I have been given a lower grade in my speech class than I deserved because I worked beyond what was expected on all the written assignments and class activities, and I know I aced the final performance project. I am a theatre major, so I can kinda tell when I do well in this kind of class or not. Honestly, I felt the teacher and I just didn't click in this class.

Here's why I want to talk to her. She give two of my friends an A, and I know I performed at least as well as they did. They thought it was ridiculous that I got a lower grade. Should I email her and ask her? Would it be possible for her to change my grade?

Another question...could I ask her even when the class ended if I could do any extra credit to have her improve my grade?
Post edited by ilikeorange on

Replies to: unfair grade..can I do antyhing about it

  • kelliebmkelliebm Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    What is your grade based on? If she has given you written grades on all your assignments and expressed in the syllabus how those grades are distributed to make up your final grade, there really isn't anything you can do to prove it's "unfair" unless she did the calculations wrong.

    If you are unsure of what most of your grades were on assignments in the class, you could email her to ask what your individual grades were that made up your final grade, and how she came up with that grade.

    There really is no proof that it's "unfair" unless she tampered with the numbers, and I guarantee there's no way she's going to change your final grade just because you contact her about it - in fact, it may be impossible for her to do so if your school's grading deadline has passed. I know mine ends tomorrow, for example.
  • S0adS0ad Registered User Posts: 914 Member
    I would ask for break down of your grade. I thought my grade was lower than it should have been, and asked for a break down - turns out the professor just entered the wrong grade. Just be polite.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Registered User Posts: 5,487 Senior Member
    When you approach her, try to avoid coming across in an accusatory or negative manner, or saying the grade is "unfair." You probably won't get any results that way...plus the whole burning bridges thing.
    Anyway, you should ask about extra credit or perhaps for her to explain how she graded things -- e.g. if attendance or participation, etc. is taken into account and plead your case.
  • ilikeorangeilikeorange Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    that's the thing....we were never made aware of any of our grades...most of the work is in class on exercises, performances...but we had some written ones which after we turned in, we never got it back nor knew what we got on it...lol thinking back...we never got grades for anything...she would tell us how to improve our performance...but never anything about grades

    basically, it's completely based on her...so do you guys think I should contact her? I was thinking of asking her what the grading process entailed and how I could have improved my performance? I also want to mention that I feel like I put in more than expected on assignments and performances (advanced blocking, movements, etc) Lastly, should I ask her if there is any chance I could improve this grade via extra credit even though the class is technically over? would that email be okay, or would she get ****ed?
  • IgiIgi Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    That's a serious problem with these kind of classes. My 9th grade social studies teacher gave you whatever grade he thought you deserved. That's right, it's not an acting, PE, or speech class. Social studies with written assignments and quizzes. It was absolutely impossible for athletes to get anything lower than a B. If you're friends with him you get a B.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "that's the thing....we were never made aware of any of our grades...most of the work is in class on exercises, performances...but we had some written ones which after we turned in, we never got it back nor knew what we got on it.."

    That's not the way professors are supposed to teach. I suggest talking to her and asking her about your grade, and seeing if she will raise it. If she won't, then talk to the head of her department because professors are supposed to have clear guidelines for how grades are assigned, and also students should be given within a reasonable amount of time grades for their assignments.

    Saying all of this as a former college professor.
  • Cali TrumpetCali Trumpet Registered User Posts: 1,607 Senior Member
    If you are not a fan of subjective grading, you picked the wrong major. You seem like you know you worked hard enough to get an A and you performed well enough to get an A, but apparently your professor did not. Unfortunately, since you are a theater major instead of a math major, it seems unlikely that your grade will be changed.
  • nontraditionalnontraditional Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    You haven't said anything that indicates you were graded unfairly. Just because you are a theatre major and think "advanced blocking" warrants an A doesn't mean the professor does. And presumably the teacher has a better understanding of what the department expects her to teach and assess in that class than your friends do.

    It is troublesome that she didn't give you any information about how you were doing in class (although if she's going to be careful about FERPA compliance there are limits on what she can say in front of your classmates) and that she didn't return written assignments. That would have upset me, too. But I have to ask, did you go ask her for the feedback she didn't provide? If you didn't, she may not have known that you wanted to know what grades you were getting.

    By all means, go to her office hours when school starts up again. Tell her you thought you were doing better and that you'd like to know what areas she thinks you ought to be working on so that you can continue learning and growing. You should even feel free to ask her specifically how she calculated your final grade. But keep in mind that unless you've been asking her for feedback all along, even if you don't accuse her of grading you unfairly -- and, again, if you have evidence that she has graded unfairly you haven't shared it with us -- there's a good chance she will feel like Roscoe from Raleigh (from today's Rate Your Students) when you do. Students who want feedback so that they can improve their performance ask faculty for feedback during the semester. Students who wait until they know for sure that they didn't earn the grade they wanted to ask for feedback generally have other goals in mind.
  • membermember - Posts: 612 Junior Member
    When you expereince this the best thing to do is follow the chain of command.

    1)Talk to professor
    2) Go to Dean of dept.
    3)Go see Student relations department
    4)Go see Provost(if provost is not #3 on list)
  • spdfspdf Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    DO NOT ask for extra credit. That won't happen and it only makes you look wacko. If the professor allows you to do post-semester extra credit to raise your grade, she has to make that option available to the rest of the class, and she ain't gonna.

    nontraditional gave you the best advice. Ask why your grade ended up the way it did, but expect that there's a valid reason for it. It sucks that you got no feedback all semester long, but you didn't ask for any either, and that's not going to help you.
  • LilyMoonLilyMoon Registered User Posts: 1,832 Senior Member
    It's definitely worth a try emailing about your grade. It certainly can't hurt to ask about why she arrived at her decision and what she based it on. Be careful to be polite and state your case in a respectful manner. I wouldn't ask about extra credit at this point, it's too late for that. It doesn't make it easier when you're in the arts. My son is an art major and grades are so subjective. It can work out great if a teacher really appreciates your work and it is really lousy when one doesn't.
  • RMSTU10RMSTU10 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Most schools have an "appeal" process for grades, it normally goes through the dean of students and the dept head. You will want to make sure to state your case, and if its necessary have any doctors notes and things like that. Be polite and easy to contact, as professors and deans won't respond to rude, professor hate mail, being an adult about it helps!
  • HugcheckHugcheck Registered User Posts: 1,031 Senior Member
    I suggest you contact the prof and say something like, "I worked very hard in this class and thought I did well in the presentations and am surprised and a bit disappointed in my grade. I would like to chat with you to find out how I might improve and do better in the future. I am curious and would like to learn what was missing so that I can do better next time."

    This gives her a chance to recognize and act if a mistake was made, or to teach you if one was not. You present with an attitude of wanting to improve yourself, not with hubris.
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