Mid-term grading – pain or gain?

A newly created initiative for fall semester, requesting that each instructor post mid-term grades to Banner, aims to give students an opportunity to access their progress and make corrective action if necessary.

The Office of Student Success and Retention, along with university administration, encouraged faculty for the first time to post mid-term grades for students this semester as part of the office’s Best Practices directives to faculty members.

Research was conducted at other colleges and universities locally and around the country to determine the effectiveness of posting mid-term grades. Other universities were found to regularly post the grades already, according to Martha Wilson, program coordinator for Student Success and Retention.

“We have found that this helps students by providing a checkpoint.”

“We have found that this helps students by providing a checkpoint,” Wilson said. “It gives students a benchmark.” Final grades for the semester have always been located in Banner and students access them frequently; however, students may or may not be aware of the new mid-term grade initiative since it was recently implemented.     Some students have expressed interest in having mid-terms posted each semester.

“I think it would help me because the grades posted on UVLink [Banner] are accustomed as being pretty serious,” said sophomore Michael Bradford. “Mostly when you’re on there you are looking at transcripts and final grades, so to see it on there more or less set in stone … is a good thing.”

Posted mid-term grades in Banner, however, will not roll to student’s academic history or transcript and will not be automatically calculated in the final grade given.

As a member of student government, junior Sarah Standing was required this semester to have a mid-term grade report, so she took the form to her instructors to have her mid-terms recorded.

“From what it looked like, my teachers didn’t really look up my exact grades, they just sort of guessed where I was at,” she said. “I would have appreciated a more solid, accurate grade from them.”

According to Standing, it would have helped her see where to improve and give a track record of what she had done so far and where help was needed to step up and make grades for the term.

“I wish all of my teachers would have done that [posted a grade],” Standing said. “It gives students an idea of where they are at and where they need to improve.”

Mid-term grades are an effective method in retaining students, according to Wilson.

“It is kind of a mutual thing; we want the faculty to reach out to the student, but if the faculty doesn’t, we want to support the student and say, ‘Reach out to your faculty.’ ”

At press time, it was not known how many instructors had made the effort to post mid-term grades for their students.

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