A professor at the University of Georgia reportedly allows its students to choose their own grades as part of a “stress reduction policy.”
According to an article in the College Fix, computing instructor Rick Watson allows his students at the school’s Terry College of Business pick their grades because “emotional reactions to stressful situations can have profound consequences for all involved.”
What’s more, the Fix also notes that Watson takes pride in testing for only “low level mastery of the course material” on the exams for his data programming course — and allows his students to use their books, notes, and laptops to take them.
“While this policy might hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material, ultimately these are your responsibility,” the policy explanation states. “I will provide every opportunity for you to gain high level mastery.”
A common impulse among people reading this will probably be to call the students in these classes “snowflakes,” but I’m really not so sure that that’s the case. After all, we don’t know whether or not any student actually demanded this sort of system, just that it’s the system that the instructor chose. It might not be that these students are this sensitive, but rather that Watson is just assuming that they are — an assumption that I would say is most likely false.
Yep… you heard me. Maybe I have too much faith in humanity, but I really do think that most of these young adults would be able to handle having a professor grade them and then still go on to lead normal, healthy lives. If they did find themselves unable to cope? Well, then they could always turn to someone who has been through it for advice — someone like, for example, any first grader.
— Katherine Timpf is a National Review Online reporter.