am i crazy for being bothered by this?
so i am in college right now (graduating with my bachelors in 2 semesters! finally!) and i am in a philosophy class. i am doing pretty well in this class, and we had a test a few days ago. 70 points were for the main part, of which i did very well and then 30 points were from the essay portion. i did well on the first two essay questions and then completely blanked on the third. it was 7am and no matter how hard i picked my brain i could not come up with an answer that sounded even remotely correct. so what did i do? i wrote a sentence and a half (and i mean that, i didn't even FINISH my second sentence) and then just clicked submit. (it was in an online testing center.) obviously we don't know our grades for the essay portion right away, as the teacher has to manually grade it.
grades were up today. i checked my essay portion expecting to have obviously, earned 0 points for question number 3. instead... i got a 7.5
SEVEN AND A HALF POINTS FOR NOT EVEN ANSWERING A QUESTION.
i'll prove it to you. here is the question, my answer is the "selected answer", and then a "correct answer" which he gives at the bottom for all the questions (which we do get to see right after taking the test, so i knew i blew it, or so i thought..)
|Question 3 - 7.5 out of 10 points
According to William James, what does it mean to say that an idea is “true”? Give an example to clarify.
Question 3 answers
Selected Answer: What William James meant when he said an idea was true was that it could be proven with testing of theories. He meant that
i would like to point out right here, how i seriously answered a sentence and a half. a 5 year old could have come up with a better answer.
Correct Answer: Correct James, like all pragmatists, rejects the correspondence theory of truth, which holds that a belief is true if it corresponds to some state of affairs in the world. In other words, the statement 'the dress is blue' is true if and only if there really is a dress and it is indeed blue. The trouble has been that we cannot get out of our phenomenal world to check our claim against reality. The correspondence theory of truth seems to lead to skepticism.
The pragmatists side step this whole issue by arguing that the correspondence theory of truth doesn't reflect what we mean by 'true' at all. In our everyday way of thinking, we say that a belief is true if it "brings us into satisfactory relations with the other parts of our experience"--that is, if it works in relation to the experience we have had and continue to have. For example, my belief that it is below freezing outside is true if, when I look outside, the windows on the car are frosted over, and the puddles in the driveway are iced, and, when I consult it, the outdoor thermometer reads 25 degrees. My belief that it is freezing outside now 'works' with the other parts of my experience. This belief will remain true as long as it 'pays' or has 'cash value' in my everyday experience. Of course, if stepped outside and found myself perspiring in what felt like a 90 degree heat wave, then I would be in doubt. I should then check the thermometer to see if it was malfunctioning and so on, until I had settled on another belief, which would more satisfactorily bring me in to relation with the other parts of my experience. That belief would then be the truth.
That doesn't mean that anything goes, however. Beliefs are always held in check by our experiences. And given an indefinite number of experiences, and an indefinite number of inquirers, perhaps one only one belief would always prove effective, and that would be the Truth with a capital 'T', and the thing that it marked out would be reality.
Feedback: [None Given]
and the more important question...
am i the only one who is seriously bugged by this??
One is to accept the weird power imbalances and structures of the university system which result in this kind of behaviour on the part of instructors. In which case, you can take it as your random due in a system where someday you'll probably equally randomly lose points.
The second is to set your own personal ethical standards and email the prof and point out that s/he must have made an error in grading your work, and give the points back.
If it helps, I was in the second category when I was in school and ended up leaving university disenchanted (and have a great life, although at times I wish I'd stuck with it a bit longer).
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Sometimes Blackboard (or other online teaching platforms) goes a little wonky. I have had some strange experiences grading work on Blackboard.
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7.5/10 is 75%, which is a "C" - maybe your one(and-a-half)-liner was worth a "C" - expecially when compared with other students' answers.
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Your sentence looks correct and the professor was probably glad to not have to read through more space filler. And since you didn't give an example, you only got a 7.5.
Maybe he had a certain criteria--if they mention A they get 2 points, A&B, five points, etc.
Maybe he clicked wrong and gave you more points than you deserved.
Maybe he graded on a curve.
Who knows? You can ask him about it, if it bothers you.
I thought you were going to say the tA's did the grading but personally, I wouln't complain if the grade was higher than expected.
No, I think it's terrible. I think your outrage is a sign of what a good student you must be. If you do ask the prof about it (and I think you should), please update with his answer.
It looks to me like you stated the concept; you just didn't explain it at length. I think it's worth roughly 5 marks. 7.5 might be a little generous, but I do not think it means that your prof is not reading the exams.
Also, do you know for a fact that it's the prof grading and not a TA? And if it's the prof, is it an experienced prof? Usually, the tough markers are the new eager beavers and more experienced instructors tend to grade in a less rigid, less cookbook-y way.
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|but I do not think it means that your prof is not reading the exams.|
I look at the whole picture when I grade. If most of the paper or exam is well done and one part is sketchy, I'm going to be more lenient. If the entire thing is poorly done I am less forgiving. I think the grade you got was generous but not enough to say it was never read. If it's eating away at you sit down with the prof and have an exam review.
If I had to guess, I'd guess that half the answers were total bull****, a quarter were kind of on the right track (like yours) and the remaining quarter ranged from decent to excellent. Is your answer excellent? No, but you understood the question and what you do say is right.
I woudn't conclude that he isn't reading or that you got points you didn't earn.
How many students are in your course? The course I am teaching has about 200 students and we try to comment and give feedback on all of the assignments. We constantly have students nagging about wanting their grades back. We have quizzes and students will nitpick every little thing that we do. It gets really frustrating because no matter what you do as a professor, somebody will complain. If it is an online course with Blackboard, that is even more reason to go easy on the professor. We are constantly having technical difficulties with it on the teaching end.
-giving you the benefit of the doubt as a good student
-online grading glitch
-skimming answers for key points and not overthinking the grading
There are others.
Please keep in mind that professors are real people. Honestly, one mistake on a 10-point question is not a big deal--certainly not worth reading into. Profs make mistakes. Profs suffer from sleep deprivation. Profs have other obligations: publication deadlines, conference presentations, etc. Occasionally profs overlook things, and that's true for adjuncts like myself, for tenure-track profs like DH, and for tenured profs like my advisor.
Deciding that your prof doesn't read your exams based on this one question, is just as ridiculous as it would be if he decided that you were a lazy or incompetent student based on your one lousy answer .
Philosophy teachers can be weird. Seriously. I took a phil cours once and one essay question about a statement (it was about if the statement was true or not and why) I wrote "False, It can't be prooven." (partially from boredom, partially from a sore hand) or something to that effect. An essay question, and I got full marks. Talked to the teacher, he said "Well you said it all."
If it looks like I'm trying to pick a fight... I'm not, I'm rarely that obvious.