Friday, December 3, 2010
Academic Integrity: College Student Blows on Professor's Grading Methods
A Weighty Proposition
by Winsip Custer CPW News Service
Fellow professors at Windsor College in Franklin, Ohio were always envious of John W. Moore, PhD and Professor of American History. "I thought he was a speed reading mystic," said Professor of English Literature, Betty West. "Thirty students and twenty to thirty page papers with four classes per semister is up to three thousand pages or about ten long books per semester. Not impossible, but certainly ambitious when you're having to read and grade every paper. Which Dr. Moore wasn't doing."
Jeremy Hopkins, a junior student from Lexington, Kentucky and Dr. Moore's student assistant, had twice over the course of three years actually observed Dr. Moore's grading technique. "He would pile up the papers and put them on a digital mail scale, then divide the weight by the number of student in the class giving an average weight. The heaviest papers received the highest grades and the rest were distributed along a weight continuum," said Hopkins.
When asked how long he had been using this method and why, Dr. Moore said "I was watching an interview with Civil War historian Shelby Foote who said that he hadn't used any original sources in any of his books. Foote said 'it's all been covered elsewhere' and I thought 'What the sxxx did he say?' and I decided that most of what the students were regurgitating was b.s. anyway," said Moore who is on administrative leave while the Windsor Board determines his fate.
"My job was to do some cursory makings and notations on each paper in red ink," said Jeremy Hopkins.