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Oberlin students: No midterms and no grades below C

nota bene

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I saw this The Week article linked on Drudge:

Students at Oberlin College are asking the school to put academics on the back burner so they can better turn their attention to activism. More than 1,300 students at the Midwestern liberal arts college have now signed a petition asking that the college get rid of any grade below a C for the semester, and some students are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay. Oberlin students want to abolish midterms and any grades below C

Never mind that grades below C are measurably below average; what matters is that students feel good about themselves and their marginal efforts. Failure is only "delayed success," you know. :lol:
 

eohrnberger

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Demanding yet another 'safe space' in just another form.

I sure hope that the Oberlin College administration and faculty see this for what it is (basically bull****), and out right deny it, as it should be.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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It is a liberal arts college, it is not like the degree actually matters
 

AlbqOwl

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I saw this The Week article linked on Drudge:

Students at Oberlin College are asking the school to put academics on the back burner so they can better turn their attention to activism. More than 1,300 students at the Midwestern liberal arts college have now signed a petition asking that the college get rid of any grade below a C for the semester, and some students are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay. Oberlin students want to abolish midterms and any grades below C

Never mind that grades below C are measurably below average; what matters is that students feel good about themselves and their marginal efforts. Failure is only "delayed success," you know. :lol:

It's the sign of the times and the very worst side of modern American liberalism.

- Don't give grades that make some students feel better about themselves than others.

- If anybody gets an award, everybody must get an award.

- Don't keep score in games.

- And now do away with any evidence of failure.

No wonder 30% of the millennials are still living with their parents and many have never held a real job. No wonder such a high percentage of them are stoned on pot or meth or ectasy or any of the other popular recreational drugs. And no wonder that they think activism to be a noble use of their time rather than earning a living in a way that increases and benefits society.
 

eohrnberger

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It's the sign of the times and the very worst side of modern American liberalism.

- Don't give grades that make some students feel better about themselves than others.

- If anybody gets an award, everybody must get an award.

- Don't keep score in games.

- And now do away with any evidence of failure.

No wonder 30% of the millennials are still living with their parents and many have never held a real job. No wonder such a high percentage of them are stoned on pot or meth or ectasy or any of the other popular recreational drugs. And no wonder that they think activism to be a noble use of their time rather than earning a living in a way that increases and benefits society.

A 'Community Organizer' as presently highly held example to them?
 

Deuce

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A 'Community Organizer' as presently highly held example to them?

Right-wingers only started ****ting on the title "community organizer" because it turns out a Democratic president used to be one. To this day, they have no idea what a community organizer actually does.
 

OrphanSlug

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I saw this The Week article linked on Drudge:

Students at Oberlin College are asking the school to put academics on the back burner so they can better turn their attention to activism. More than 1,300 students at the Midwestern liberal arts college have now signed a petition asking that the college get rid of any grade below a C for the semester, and some students are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay. Oberlin students want to abolish midterms and any grades below C

Never mind that grades below C are measurably below average; what matters is that students feel good about themselves and their marginal efforts. Failure is only "delayed success," you know. :lol:

I sure hope that Oberlin College does not go for this, the impact will be further dilution of the value of the degree given.
 

eohrnberger

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I sure hope that Oberlin College does not go for this, the impact will be further dilution of the value of the degree given.

Exactly correct.
 

eohrnberger

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Right-wingers only started ****ting on the title "community organizer" because it turns out a Democratic president used to be one. To this day, they have no idea what a community organizer actually does.

com·mu·ni·ty or·gan·iz·er
noun North American

noun: community organizer; plural noun: community organizers; noun: community organiser; plural noun: community organisers

  • a person whose job is to coordinate cooperative efforts and campaigning carried out by local residents to promote the interests of their community.
    "he was the chief community organizer mobilizing residents against the destruction of the Oak Ridges Moraine"

In the best case, a community organizer would indeed organize local resident to promote their interests.
In the worst case, it's a self aggrandizing trouble maker inventing compelling issues for his own benefit.

Given that minorities have suffered much under this president, seems he's much more of the latter.

And really, what does this have to do with Oberlin College students and their ridiculous demands?
All I'm saying is that they've had 8 years of Obama, previously being a community organizer, to inspire them to do the same?
 

Fiddytree

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Such nonsense from students these days.

In many or most institutions, you have to work fairly hard in order to get a C. What I mean by "work hard," I mean try to not to do much work. Coursework variances aside (like mathematics and engineering courses which often have low scores as the average), that's the likelihood.
 
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FieldTheorist

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I saw this The Week article linked on Drudge:

Students at Oberlin College are asking the school to put academics on the back burner so they can better turn their attention to activism. More than 1,300 students at the Midwestern liberal arts college have now signed a petition asking that the college get rid of any grade below a C for the semester

Checking Google, there's about 3,000 students, so this isn't a majority of students who agree, so this isn't likely to pass. That's worth noting.

and some students are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay. Oberlin students want to abolish midterms and any grades below C

As far as asking for an alternative to exams, I think that is actually a reasonable request. I think many educators would agree that if there was the time for students to have each student withstand a 30 minute conversation (Read: questioning), that would be a far more reliable indicator of a students knowledge than any exam. That being said, people don't have time of that, especially for large classes sizes (50 students, let alone the 100/200/300 student intro STEM classes). So for the usual reasons, it won't happen. None the less, if I were a student, I would want it. I'd definitely be getting more for my money.

Bare in mind, I think most people think of this like sitting down with some hot cocoa and talking about Game of Thrones with your professor. That's a totally incorrect picture. This system, where you stand in front of a professor while they ask you questions, is the exact same system by which we award PhD's, the highest ranking academic degree. You don't take a test precisely because people take PhD's seriously. You wouldn't be allowed to get that degree because you just wrote a thesis or you just filled out a "really hard" exam that you could study for. It works, it cuts through the BS, and you're very, very responsible for the material.

Never mind that grades below C are measurably below average; what matters is that students feel good about themselves and their marginal efforts. Failure is only "delayed success," you know. :lol:

Well, The Donald would co-sign that message, anyways. =)
 

nota bene

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It's the sign of the times and the very worst side of modern American liberalism.

- Don't give grades that make some students feel better about themselves than others.

- If anybody gets an award, everybody must get an award.

- Don't keep score in games.

- And now do away with any evidence of failure.

No wonder 30% of the millennials are still living with their parents and many have never held a real job. No wonder such a high percentage of them are stoned on pot or meth or ectasy or any of the other popular recreational drugs. And no wonder that they think activism to be a noble use of their time rather than earning a living in a way that increases and benefits society.

I heard Friday about a young professor who was forced into sensitivity training because at the beginning of the semester, she handed back a paper and used the wrong pronoun in addressing the student as "him." She wasn't aware that the student was someone who is "transitioning." You just can't be too careful these days.

And never mind that learning takes effort and may not validate your esteemed opinion of yourself--it's always somebody else's fault. You weren't prepared for university work because your teachers were all bad, you know. Has nothing to do with your "not liking" reading or not being good in math. You ARE good in math; the profs all just have it out for you. :roll:
 

nota bene

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Checking Google, there's about 3,000 students, so this isn't a majority of students who agree, so this isn't likely to pass. That's worth noting.

As far as asking for an alternative to exams, I think that is actually a reasonable request. I think many educators would agree that if there was the time for students to have each student withstand a 30 minute conversation (Read: questioning), that would be a far more reliable indicator of a students knowledge than any exam. That being said, people don't have time of that, especially for large classes sizes (50 students, let alone the 100/200/300 student intro STEM classes). So for the usual reasons, it won't happen. None the less, if I were a student, I would want it. I'd definitely be getting more for my money.

Bare in mind, I think most people think of this like sitting down with some hot cocoa and talking about Game of Thrones with your professor. That's a totally incorrect picture. This system, where you stand in front of a professor while they ask you questions, is the exact same system by which we award PhD's, the highest ranking academic degree. You don't take a test precisely because people take PhD's seriously. You wouldn't be allowed to get that degree because you just wrote a thesis or you just filled out a "really hard" exam that you could study for. It works, it cuts through the BS, and you're very, very responsible for the material.

Well, The Donald would co-sign that message, anyways. =)

Last time I checked, the U.S. doesn't have a don system like Oxford's. And I sat for prelims, which were a bitch, BTW, and then only later did I defend. And I did so sitting, not standing.
 

nota bene

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Funny piece at NRO on this:

Now, in case you forgot, Oberlin made headlines in December when student activists started demanding $8.20 per hour for protesting. That was pretty ridiculous in itself, but interviews with student activists in a New Yorker piece written by Nathan Heller suggest that that demand was really just the tip of the ridiculousness iceberg.

...This sentiment of feeling dehumanized and mistreated was echoed by many others — including a student from Chicago named Zakiya Acey, who thought it was like, totally an injustice that some of his professors made him actually take his midterms instead of allowing him to just chat with them

...As Reason’s Robby Soave puts it, “The students Heller interviewed seem to think they’re not at college to be educated: they are at college to educate everyone else.” Oberlin College: Student Life is Hard Enough Without Grades and Exams | National Review
 

AlbqOwl

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Right-wingers only started ****ting on the title "community organizer" because it turns out a Democratic president used to be one. To this day, they have no idea what a community organizer actually does.

I imagine most of us looked it up at the time. Did you? Obama didn't know what it was when he took the job. He couldn't explain what the job was when he left. He has extremely little to point to as any accomplishment while doing the job. I think it was his inability to get much accomplished and his belief that things don't get done unless a person has power that prompted him to go to law school.
 

Skeptic Bob

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You can partake in activism AND study. It is called multi-tasking and is a skill they will need in the real world.
 

FieldTheorist

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Last time I checked, the U.S. doesn't have a don system like Oxford's. And I sat for prelims, which were a bitch, BTW, and then only later did I defend. And I did so sitting, not standing.

Huh, that hasn't been my experience. There's sometimes some kind of written qualifications (quals or pre-lims), but they're generally at the beginning (Sometimes early middle) and they're only to stay into the program, and generally serve as "You're a terrible student, why did we accept you?" veto. It's largely unnecessary, because if you do poorly in early classes, professors will refuse to take you on as a students. I know some departments in Berkley, for example, have abolished the quals for this reason. I think it's becoming more and more popular to abolish them also at research institutes because it's start giving institutional preference to good test takers and memorizers, which is no indicator for being a good researcher. I suspect some departments have grown tired to financing good-student, terrible-researcher PhD candidates, and use internal, word-of-mouth "I had this student, and they knew what they were talking about" recommendations.


Anyways, everyone I know who's done a PhD has had to give a presentation and then defend that presentation to a committee. Standing would be a requirement in my field, as you need a chalkboard, but I'm sure in other displines sitting would be normal. The main issue though is that you're standing (literally or figuratively) before a committee and defending your work. That's the actual requirement for completing a PhD.
 

nota bene

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And back to the topic, I'm pretty tired of crybullies and their exquisitely delicate sensibilities. Having a "conversation" with your prof cannot substitute for a test that measures "learning outcomes" and blah-blah-blah. And there is no way a prof would have time for such undergrad "conversations" anyway--not when he or she may be teaching three or more classes with 25+ students plus all the professional development and service activities.
 

AlbqOwl

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I heard Friday about a young professor who was forced into sensitivity training because at the beginning of the semester, she handed back a paper and used the wrong pronoun in addressing the student as "him." She wasn't aware that the student was someone who is "transitioning." You just can't be too careful these days.

And never mind that learning takes effort and may not validate your esteemed opinion of yourself--it's always somebody else's fault. You weren't prepared for university work because your teachers were all bad, you know. Has nothing to do with your "not liking" reading or not being good in math. You ARE good in math; the profs all just have it out for you. :roll:

My kids once had a high school science teacher who handed out the answers to quizzes for the students to memorize before they took the test. He was a very popular teacher. I was president of the PTA at the time and had just finished a short term on the school board--I was appointed to finish out the term for another member. So I was quite interested in this professors approach to teaching and asked him about it. His response was that he thought it silly to not let the kids know what it was they were supposed to learn.

I thought about that for a long time. What was wrong with it? I couldn't put my finger on why it bothered me. And finally it came to me. It gave the kids a sense of entitlement to get the grade without working for it. They really didn't have to learn anything. All they had to do was memorize some answers whether or not they had a clue what they memorized meant. (I was already at war with the athletic director who was pressuring teachers to give passing grades to the best players whether they earned them or not.)

Now this was decades ago when modern American liberalism was just beginning to insert itself into the media, science, and academia. But it struck me then as just plain wrong and was very bad for the kids who were going to have to compete with educated kids later on.

I can only imagine how really bad it is now.
 

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All this stupidity is about is that these students want to do this:
article-2593008-1CB5084400000578-243_634x475.jpg

instead of this:
students-studying-library.jpg

... and still pass their classes. But I have a simple solution to this: Ask a group of their prospective employers if they think that this is a good idea and go with their response....
 

Deuce

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I imagine most of us looked it up at the time. Did you? Obama didn't know what it was when he took the job. He couldn't explain what the job was when he left. He has extremely little to point to as any accomplishment while doing the job. I think it was his inability to get much accomplished and his belief that things don't get done unless a person has power that prompted him to go to law school.

And who told you all of this?
 
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