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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Still doing comps, but...

While I am still completing my comprehensive exams, my mind is also starting to turn towards teaching again this year. I'll have a couple of sections of our undergraduate introduction to technology for teachers and will also be co-teaching a couple of courses in social studies education.

Having said all of that (and continuing to think about it), my thoughs also turn to an entry that I read at Distance-Educator.com's Daily News last month that pointed me to an article on The News - Messenger.com entitled "Professor, students clash over grades."

The reason this piece caught my attention is because here at UGA, many students use a service called The Key to shop for their courses (a website that lists the percentage of each letter grade that an instructor gives in each section of a course). Apparently, courses in the College of Education are notorious for giving As and Bs (and primarily As). The course that I teach is no different, with the exception that I tend to be a hard marker (at least my student evaluations indicate such).

While I had no where near the 36% fail the course, as referenced in this article, it is a concern of mine because this issue appears to have brought down my overall evaluations each semester that I hve taught. The course is a project-based course, where students are graded using rubrics (complete with percentages, benchmarks for individual points within different categories, etc.) that are available from the day that the project is assigned.

For those out there who have taught at the post-secondary level longer than I have, how do you balance this in your teaching?

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