I’ve been a bit remiss in regards to posting because I’ve had a lull in school work and I’ve been catching up on sleep. However, when catching up on my blog reading I ran into this post on Sandwalk where Larry Moran asks whether (ignoring the legalities) it would be a good idea to publically post student marks along with names.
I like the idea of publishing student’s names and grades because it helps make them take responsibility for their activities at university. Very few people agree with me. They all think that a student has a right to privacy.
I’m one of those people who disagree. And it’s not because I would personally object to having my marks displayed with my name. I just don’t see a good argument for doing it.
Larry’s rationale posting marks with names doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know what he means by taking “responsibility for their activities at university”. What responsibility and for which activities? Based on the comments, I’m assuming that he means taking studies seriously and putting forth a decent attempt at studying. In which case, I’m not buying it at all.
I don’t buy that argument, mostly based on my high school experiences (yes, I know it’s just anecdata). My high school, while not outright listing marks, used to manage to get pretty close to publically announcing everybody’s grades. They did this by having an awards ceremony were students would be given awards for their grades. The awards were so neatly segregated and there were quite a few different one that you would know what everyone got within 5-10%. Additionally, since my school was so small everybody pretty much knew each other’s marks precisely. And, frankly, I don’t remember caring much outside the hour or so we sat through the awards (and even then not much). But this is just my experience, and my high school experience at that.
However, even assuming publishing student marks helped motivate people to be responsible, I don’t see why it should be done at university. I assumed that when I went to university that I’d become responsible for my own successes and failures (like any adult), but if Larry Moran is right I can’t manage that. No, I have to be socially humiliated and shamed (admit it that’s all this argument amounts to) into responsibility.
P.S. I’ll try to make a few more posts in the next couple of days. In fact, depending on whether I end up taking a short trip tomorrow I might have a post up in the afternoon.