Library Computers | Photo by Qusai Takuri | The Wright State Guardian
For the first time, Wright State University required professors to submit midterm grades over spring break, which elicited both positive and negative feedback.
According to Student Government Association Resolution 23-2, Wright State faculty
strives to promote the academic success of all students on campus. After a trial run last fall, WSU made midterms mandatory at Wright State.
Alaina Collins, vice president of Student Government, explained why midterm grades are beneficial for students.
“I think it was a good idea because I know that there’s a lot of classes that don’t even post any grades to PILOT until the very end of the semester, so you have no idea where you stand if you’re trying to get supplemental things to boost your grade,” Collins said.
Brian Boyd, faculty president, explained the policy change.
“It’s something that [the provost] feels like it’s a really good practice for faculty to get that midterm grade at the center of the semester,” Boyd said.
PILOT and online classes
Wright State students have access to PILOT for grade postings, but sometimes, grades can be difficult to calculate on the site. Boyd explained some of the issues of PILOT from instructors’ and faculty members’ perspectives.
“I think the default setting is that the final grade doesn’t automatically get seen by the student. So as an instructor, I can go in, and I set up a gradebook, and I enter grades,” Boyd explained. “I can see what your final calculated grade is, but there’s a couple extra steps that I have to go through as a faculty member to make sure that it’s released and viewable to the students.”
With many asynchronous, online classes, Boyd discussed the importance of communication between instructors and students.
“We encourage students to do something in the class early on so that it communicates your expectations as a faculty member, but it also gives them a chance to submit some work, get some feedback right away,” Boyd said.
Benefits for students
Collins explained the benefit of students knowing midterm grades before the second half of the semester.
“I think it is good to let you know over spring break so that you could kind of come back with a plan. If you were below where you want to be, you know to reach out to tutoring services, get a study group together or whatever it might be. So, I feel like that could be good to kind of use
extra time,” Collins said.
In the future, Collins hopes that midterm grades become a permanent fixture at the university.
“I would hope that it’s something that they keep doing,” Collins said. “I think I’ve heard really only positive feedback from students.”