I don’t know what to make of this…

Last week in our #WITwants2know question, 58% of our respondents believe their mid term grades will accurately reflect the amount of effort they have put into each course.

To be honest…I don’t know what to make of this. In one way, this could mean that the majority of the students who answered the question are anticipating mid-term grades that reflect the amount of effort they have put forth, both positively and negatively. So a student who has worked really hard may be anticipating a grade that is the result of that hard work. This could be an A or a B, or even a C in a very difficult course. For these students, perhaps a lower mid-term grade indicates that more effort is needed in this course.

In another scenario, the results could also mean that a student believes they have put forth a great deal of effort and are worried about a lower mid-term grade. In this scenario, this is the time for students to access the resources available to them – The Learning Center, facilitated study groups, and accessing instructors during office hours. There could be that one piece of information that you haven’t quite grasped yet that is impeding your progress in understanding the course material. Fortunately, there is still a considerable amount of time in the semester.

In the past, other students have shared some skepticism about the overall accuracy of mid-term grades, primarily because of the amount of the work that has been completed to date and the amount of work left in the semester. This is a valid point. The mid-term grade is a snapshot of the course; it’s not the full course. But it can be helpful in giving you a sense of where you’re at in the course. Mid-term grades are only one way to measure you’re learning in a course.

Talk with classmates about course material. Are they understanding the material in the same way you are? Are they providing new information to you? Are you able to contribute ideas and facts others have not?

Visit your instructor during office hours or even just for a few minutes after class. Summarize the material with them. Their response will indicate your level of understanding.

Talk with a friend who is not in your class or family member (or a #WITDean!!) about what you’re learning in class. Easily explaining course material is a good way to evaluate your level of comprehension.

When reviewing mid-term grades, be sure to stay positive, focus on a plan for the rest of the semester, and don’t hesitate to ask for help!