Peer grading to be reviewed

Nathan Carter


Academic Policies has recently taken on the tasks of forming committees to investigate student grading and retro credit.

The decision to look at student grading came from the October Faculty Senate meeting when the communication department came to discuss the communication 100 redesign.

“This committee is not going to look at the communications department,” said Pat Lipira, chair of the academic policies committee. “It’s going to look at the general issue so we can kind of have a thought across campus. I know they worked hard getting that model together, just once they started presenting it the questions arose.

“I believe what happened was the faculty senate addressed that issue when the communication department presented [the course redesign] and the faculty senate decided to ask academic policies to look at, just in general, students grading students, really removed from the communications model.”

Jim Lile, associate professor of theatre, has been appointed chair of the committee. He is currently gathering the rest of the committee and has no comment as of press time.

“it’s not real clear yet but right now what I think they’re going to look at is just try to collect some data on are there other schools doing this and ifthey are, is it working?,” Lipira said. “Have they had any problems? Just trying to look at other universities and see if this is a policy or if they’ve used this type of students grading students and what kind of issues maybe have arisen from that, so that committee is being formed currently as you and I speak and they will be looking into that. I don’t suspect there’s a deadline.”

Lipira said she is withholding judgment about student grading until the committee brings forward more information.

“I’m hoping that this committee will gather some information that will allow you to see the pros and cons, but it’s very difficult to have an opinion when you don’t have all the details,” she said. “That’s what I hope this committee does is shine some light on any positives and negatives or any kind of legal issues.”

Retro credit has also become a topic of discussion at Faculty Senate meetings due to the increasing number of courses using the system. 

Retro credit allows students to gain credit for lower level courses by taking a higher level course in the same skill set.

“The CIS department went through academic policies and then onto Faculty Senate with some proposals that had to do with retro credit and the Faculty Senate just asked that we look at some general guidelines,” Lipira said. 

“I think what’s happened is right now we have foreign languages doing one thing and CIS doing something else and what’s going to happen is the deans are going to begin this process by looking at what departments are using retro credit within their schools.”