August 18th, 2009

professor

CTV British Columbia- B.C. university introduces grade worse than F - CTV News, Shows and Sports --


CTV British Columbia- B.C. university introduces grade worse than F - CTV News, Shows and Sports -- Canadian Television

This is fascinating. It brings a whole set of interesting arguments into play.

On the one hand, this makes a lot of sense to me. The problem with "merely" failing a student who cheats is that, the vast majority of the time, that student wasn't going to pass in the first place. Consequently, there's really no reason for that student not to cheat ... they might get away with it, and failing isn't any worse than they were going to do themselves. An über-fail has at least the feel of something more descriptive.

On the other hand, this smacks of a sort of "scarlet letter".  Is a one-time mistake worthy of a permanent mark on a transcript?  Is there no room for rehabilitation, or redemption? 

The system described above provides an interesting middle ground ... yes, you can get an über-fail, but it's upgraded to an "ordinary" fail after some number of years.  I suppose that's an interesting compromise.  (Frankly, people don't look at transcripts much once you get your first job.)

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