April 25, 2017
A week after taking the exam that will determine your grade, you anxiously sign into Blackboard to see if your studying paid off.
You click the grades tab in the course, and it’s empty. None of the quizzes, assignments or discussion board scores are available for you to view.
Naturally, the next step is to ask the professor what your grade is in the class.
They might say that they need to do some calculations before they give you grade or that they don’t use Blackboard. So, the first time you see your grade is at the end of the semester when it’s too late to make up any points or drop the class.
In my two years of college, a number of professors have kept my grade secret from me until the end of the semester.
Professors don’t use Blackboard for a variety of reasons; maybe they dislike it or don’t understand how to use it. I also find it confusing at times, but it is required for most of my courses.
If I have to learn how to navigate Blackboard in order to pass my classes, so should my professors.
Not only does a failure to log grades make it difficult for a student to stay motivated throughout the semester, it makes them nervous.
I could be failing the course and I’d have no idea until the last week of the semester.
For students and professors, recording this grade in Blackboard eases a student’s worries as the drop deadline draws near.
When it comes to tests, not seeing my grade makes me even more anxious.
Sometimes, students rely on their intuition when they finish an exam; you know whether you did well or not.
But you can’t always depend on this gut feeling.
Every college student knows what it’s like to leave an exam feeling confident and proud, only to find out that you failed it.
Typically, the time and energy you invest in an assignment is reflected in the grade you receive on it.
Like most of my peers, I work hard to maintain a certain GPA and to get the most out of my college career, so it frustrates me when I don’t receive feedback for my work.
Sometimes I wonder why I am expected to work hard in a class to keep up with deadlines when the professor can’t keep up themselves.
I imagine it is difficult to keep up with 35, 10-page essays multiple times throughout the semester, but these assignments should be considered before the course begins.
I like my instructors and professors. They are all friendly, approachable and dedicated to their jobs.
Most of them spend weeks grading assignments and leave detailed and thorough feedback throughout the semester. This is what I appreciate most about college.
I just want to keep track of my grades throughout the semester, so I know where to focus my energy.
Professors should have to carry their weight, just as us students do.
This means meeting deadlines themselves and ensuring that students know where they stand in the class. If they put in the effort, so will we.