I enjoyed the June 12 column about the problems with the grading system. Note: “Grades distract from learning” by Abigail Student.
I agree that our current system puts way too much emphasis on tests, to the degree that all my friends will spend time calculating how many points they need on a test or final to get an A.
This sort of behavior should not be encouraged. Education should be about learning, not getting an A, even though certifying into programs requires a high GPA and forces everyone to care more about points than learning.
I think your idea about the authentic assessments was a great idea. I actually had a teacher who did something similar in my CE215 class last semester, and I felt like I learned a lot about the concepts taught in the class—things I still remember clearly more than a month later. We even had a project that focused on solving a real-life situation, and then had to do it over again and fix all mistakes we made after getting an initial assessment. It was incredibly helpful and I wish all my classes assigned similar projects.
I think students need to petition and encourage professors at WSU to teach classes in this manner, which focuses more on the effort of the student and their willingness to learn the material rather than cheating and gathering points.
Letter Writer Extraordinaire