Friday, December 03, 2004

Psst - here's the real scoop on Glenn Reynolds...

Are you ready for this?

Yes, it's, "Where the Students do the Grading". Heh heh, how I would have liked to have this back in college. (Although it would have had to run in plain text at 110 baud on a teletype.)

Some entrepreneurs had put together what they called the "Course Critique". It wasn't all-inclusive but it was handy in telling the "Santa Clauses" (mostly in humanities) from the "screws" (mostly in my core engineering classes).

It even included some grade distributions, which helped I found that I had had one instructor who had half his students drop and flunked half of the survivors (but not me, ya !#$!@$), and another who gave out 60% D's or F's. Info like that could be helpful at a fairly high-strung school like ours - one student blew his head off just outside the student center after his calculator died on a big test and his prof told him "tough luck".

(As it happened, I had the same prof the next quarter, and he was a jackass. We had a multiple guess final with 10 choices per question, and you still had to show the work. The SOB took 15 out of 15 points off me on questions where I had checked the right answer - he didn't like the work. The corker was when he presented a problem with falling particulates and we were to determine the terminal velocity. You'd guess at a velocity, calculate the drag coefficient from it, see what velocity resulted based on calculated drag coefficient, compare it to the guessed velocity, plug in the new velocity value if they were off more than an arbitrary amount and start over, ad nauseam until the velocities before and after were within a nonspecified but "close" band. It so happened that I got one of his 10 answer choices with x iterations and another with x+1 iterations, so I picked the latter. Wrong - the earlier one was "close enough", and I got no credit. GRRR!)

Anyway, I used RmP to check out my alma mater. After a couple of decades the turnover was high of course, but sure enough there were some of the same faculty I remembered.

And it seemed as if the ratings were the same ones they would have been when I was there. That was good for two of them, but you'd think the others would have learned something.

Link stolen from Betsy Newmark, who gives me hope that there are still some good teachers left.

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