Actions

  Print Article
  BookMark Article

Author Login    Author Login

Important
Existing members will have to use the lost password facility to get new username and new password

Welcome Guest! Please login or create an account.

Username:

Password:



If you do not have an account yet, you can register ( Here ), or you may retrieve a lost user/pass ( Here ).

Navigation    Navigation

   10 newest articles RSS

Author Highlights    Featured Author

Walt Yoast
alska

View My Bio & Articles


Shantih Coro
-

View My Bio & Articles


ed burns
San Jose

View My Bio & Articles


Other Websites    Websites of Interest

Playing The System For Grades

Author : Sheryl L. Szeinbach Ph.D   Top Author


Children learn early that extra money is earned by helping around the house, taking care of family members, or running errands. If teenagers like school, parents use several incentives to encourage positive outcomes. For good grades, parents are willing to pay more money for better schools, nicer clothes, and new cars that come with a note - the better the grades, the better the car. The pay-for-performance idea may be relatively new to the U.S. healthcare system, but teenagers learn quickly that a car is on the line if they don't deliver the grades.



Once in the university classroom; however, the reward system appears to change. In the classroom, these young adults observe their professors playing the system for good grades, that is, good teaching evaluations. In most universities, faculty members are rewarded for good performance in the classroom, as well as for other scholarly activities. Eventually, faculty members are granted tenure (i.e., the right to keep their position forever) based on good performance over time, usually six to seven years.



For untenured assistant professors, pressures to get good evaluations are so great that failure to obtain these positive student evaluations will likely result in job loss. On one side, faculty members have to put up with all kinds of behavior from students. Examples include listening to and accepting weak excuses for missing class, forgiving the use of cell phones, computers, and games that disrupt classes despite policies against their use, and giving easy make-up exams because hard exams are viewed as "not helping students" when it is time for students to evaluate faculty performance.



To survive under this system, a system that never existed in the classroom twenty-five or more years ago, faculty members have to lower the standards. For example, if the material is too hard, some students may use their poor performance as an excuse to downgrade professors on teaching evaluations. Thus, the mind set for faculty is to give more "As," the students will be happy, faculty evaluations will be better, and everyone is happy. Remember when Summa Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude used to mean something? Are students really getting smarter or is the process for evaluating faculty flawed, thus causing these titles to be given out like candy at Halloween? One faculty member shared a story about a student entering the office and complaining that he or she needed two more points to make Magna Cum Laude. The student was very upset, yelled at the professor, and finally yelled out loud "anyone can get an "A" in this class if they just studied." End of discussion. Looking back, the only thing different and the only thing new appear to be the process for evaluating teaching.



Well, what are the options to fix the system? Do away with the tenure system? No, the tenure system keeps a healthy balance among faculty members. Without the tenure system, there is concern that some academic units would become mini-dictatorships. Evaluations from other faculty are not the answer, as politics is considered these evaluations could create a popularity contest among faculty. How do we stop this nonsense? Perhaps the entire evaluation process should be outsourced. Pay-for-performance is important, but the current structure used to evaluate teaching at the university level needs improvement.


Author's Resource Box

Sheryl L. Szeinbach, PhD, MS, BSPharm is professor at Ohio State University. Her PhD is from Purdue University, MS from the University of Kentucky, and BSPharm from the University of Texas, Austin. She has mentored over 30 graduate students, and published over 300 research articles and abstracts. Her research was featured on NBC news, CBS Early Show, Reader�s Digest, and The Wall Street Journal. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Rho Chi.

Website: http://www.zbachhsc.com

Article Source:
Articlebliss

Tags:   grades; teaching evaluations; university; faculty; performance, students, teenagers, education, college, teachers, pay-for-performance, rewards, professors, tenure, exams, Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude

Author RSS Feed   Author RSS Feed     Category RSS Feed   Category RSS Feed


 

  Rate This Article
Badly Written Offensive Content Spam
Bad Author Links Mis-spellings Bad Formatting
Bad Author Photo Good Article!
 

 

 

 

Submitted : 2011-08-23    Word Count : 633    Times Viewed: 635