Friends in the noble, all pervasive, eternal profession of education I am open to comment on some of my thoughts.
THE FAILURE OF ARCHIVING FAILURE.
Extra counseling and mentoring definitely help students. But professors can make significant changes by altering the structure of evaluation by ceasing to archive failures. An instructor can discuss weaknesses with the student to dismiss any illusions of incompetency and can show the student what has to be done to overcome a weakness. This should be done for all student work including the final exam, which at present is not critiqued.
Archived failures on transcripts hang like stones around the former student’s neck. Archived negative data has hampered some, even though they overcame that archived weakness. In sorting out job applicants, the letter “F” stands out on a transcript. It can eliminate a qualified applicant, maybe even the best qualified for that job. An employer receiving a graduate’s transcript only has the right to know competences, which apply to the job being sought.
The gathering of negative information is a tool of control. Some instructors have used “F” to threaten and force the student to meet their particular expectation and prejudice. The educational goal of promoting independent thinking should not include threats. In no way does archived failure help the student, and later, the graduate. Perhaps such failure will make students more attracted to an education at the library or online where there is no archived failure.
Al Christensen teaching for 55 years at a community college