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Not the Bell Curve again

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Comments (4)
  1. yt:) says:

    well said! nevertheless, the competition and moulding to fit the bell curve system may be a double-edged sword and not necessary be a bad thing either. Students fight to stay among the top, to get to the alpha end of the bell curve.. as long as its a healthy competition, why not. the bottomline still lies in the integrity and conscientiousness of the student.. its a number game after all.

  2. across says:

    Nobody will inform the new students, this bell-curve is being done. Foreigners who used to different type of grading will suffer a lot and only to know after affected. Whatever the good answers student may write, he/she will end up worrying, and think the results are biased.
    Even if there are class full of students who perform very poor some percentage will be at top. But if the class full of good performing students, some percentage of students unnecessarily punished. How to compare across these two groups? that is Employer worry ? Bell curve also brings inconsistency at the best. It should be only used identify poor performing students and help them. Not to penalize good performing students because they are few marks down.

  3. wte says:

    “Perhaps, students can be graded based on their understanding and knowledge of the subject matter. This can be gleaned from assignments, projects and responses to questions in tests and examinations alike.”

    But if so, then it will be another form of competition of trying to look the best among one’s peers.
    What will be considered excellent knowledge?
    That will be highly dependent on the assessor’s standard. And if there are ‘guidelines’ for the tutors, then it is no difference from being ‘exam smart’.

    Already everyone does their best for every small test, lab…etc.
    People even purposely speak up in tutorial just to get participation marks and to catch the attention of the tutor.

    Wouldn’t it be better that we award, say half the grade based on the bell curve and perhaps another half on absolute marks? At least that will indicate how well each person stands in a cohort and as an individual.
    One sticking point that I’m concerned about a fully absolute marks system is grade inflation, as is occurring in the UK. On one hand, everyone’s happy with their As, and yet, when it comes to the real world jobs (which is based on relative strength, and not absolute ability), it will be difficult to really stand out.

  4. Gwen says:

    well written !

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