Brainstorming and Body
We Convert English 81 from a Credit/No Credit Class to a Graded Class?
grades of a, b, c, d or f may give more info to students and others who
pressure on students
grades might tell me more clearly how I performed at the end
chance of getting a good grade since Cr would be equivalent of A, B, C or
D—even D work would be a Credit.
might treat the class more seriously.
81 is a review of middle school or high school grammar, so the final
report should be different from those of college level courses.
might treat the class more seriously
students to place their emotional energy into studying for the course
instead of worrying about a grade
Cr would show no difference between A work or D work.
still need to meet requirements in order to receive Credit.
81 should remain a Credit/No Credit course to increase students’ chances of
success and to reduce unnecessary emotional pressure on students already
struggling with basic writing skills.
Topic Sentence for Body Paragraph 1 and supporting details:
If academic success is measured by a passing mark, then the current Credit/No
Credit system of English 81 should be the norm rather than the exception, for it
makes succeeding easier than does a system offering letter grades. Students
earn a passing grade of “Credit” even if they have done only D-level work.
Thus, a student who passes but barely passes earns the same Credit grade as the student who excels.
While this fact may upset strong, high achieving students, it is a definite advantage
for the struggling student. Anyone outside the class who pays attention to grades—a parent, guardian, teacher, or counselor—automatically views the
Credit as a sign of success; a D, on the other hand, is passing but fails to
produce much applause. Instead of the praise that a Credit may win, the D
student is more likely to hear a consolation: "Well, at least you
didn't fail." Even a C to many is on the borderline; it is a grade
many may settle for, but it often is not a grade of desire. Clearly, the generous
Credit/No Credit evaluation with its wide latitude of acceptance cushions
students who may need more time and assistance to learn the material taught in
Topic Sentence for Body Paragraph 2 and supporting details:
Students not only have increased chances of succeeding with the Credit/No Credit
system but also spend less time worrying about grades.
Earning an A or B in a course usually means having to work hard; having
to work hard usually produces a lot of anxiety. Eliminating the need to work for
an A or B at the end of the course significantly reduces students’ frustration
throughout the term. Last semester, for
example, I took an English class that awarded letter grades.
Every time the teacher returned a test, I calculated and recalculated my average.
I was always worried about keeping my grades to at least a B.
I even had nightmares about failing the course when my average dropped
after a difficult test. This semester, I am in a class that will give me a Credit at the end, and
I hardly worry at all; all I have to do is get the lowest passing grade. I
pay more attention to what I am learning and less time to keeping up a high
grade. Instructors benefit too.
less when they do not have to deal with grade-conscious students. The “I’m
getting a B. What can I do to get an A?” pressure on teachers is non-existent
in the Credit/No Credit system. When
teachers do not have to worry so much about grading, they can pay more
attention to teaching. Indeed, the
Credit/No Credit system is emotionally better for both students and faculty.