Quality Matters

Completion grades lack purpose

Karen Hughes, Fall 2015 j1 student

When a teacher announces an assignment will be taken for a completion grade, most students will feel a sense of relief. They may not have understood the assignment or rushed through it in a last-minute attempt to have it finished. But other students, including myself, feel completion grades serve no other purpose than to persuade students to put as little effort into an assignment as they possibly can. Although it is expected of students to perform quality work, completion grades can easily encourage a state of mind in which students no longer believe what they are writing is important. Realistically, the quality of what they are writing is an essential contribution to their future test grades and a direct reflection of what they have already learned. Mistakes are made every single day by every single person. But how can you recognize those mistakes if you aren’t even aware that they are there? Everything you need to know to become a better student is engrained into the work you do when you are truly trying, not in the work you do when you know you will be the only one seeing it. It is true that these assignments can be difficult and time-consuming, but it is also true that it will help more than it will hurt. If the purpose of homework is not to reflect what you know and help you know it better, then what is the purpose in having it at all? It is important to understand the extent of your knowledge, no matter how many mistakes you make along the way. Keeping this in mind, being graded for the quality of your work simply cannot be a bad thing.Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.06.41 PM