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Does it do any good to contact a professor after semester is over?


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I am a college professor. Yes, she should absolutely contact the professor and ask about her grade. 

 

Sometimes errors happen when grades are entered or copied. A grade for an assignment could be missing, or entered incorrectly, or the formula for grade calculation could have an error. The student has the right to know how the grade was arrived at. I would hope that any student who suspects that I made a mistake brings this to my attention; there could potentially be more students affected.

 

She should also know what grade she received on the Final. She can request to view her Final and find out what she missed, even if the exam is not returned; the professor needs to let her examine the test in his office.

 

I would encourage her to send the professor a polite email inquiring about her grade on the final exam, mentioning the up-to-then A grade, and inquiring whether there might possibly have been a mistake. Good luck.

 

Edited by regentrude
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Always! Mistakes are made. No matter how carefully I check my final grades, a few times I've make a mistake after they're submitted. Usually I remember something the next day or right after I print it for my own records, so then I submit a grade change and email the student. Twice the student pointed out the mistake, and I agreed and submitted the grade change.

 

If it truly wasn't handled properly, I'm sure that there are procedures for challenging the grade, but they always start with contacting the professor first.

 

No educator likes grading, but it's so important to be timely with feedback. I struggle with that at times because of family needs, but a must-do for a good class. I once had a professor for a web scripting class who graded NOTHING after midterms, including my final. I complained and complained after I got my "A," but it was a horrible situation. I knew that my projects earned A's because they worked and were done correctly, but I have no idea how I did on the final. It was an online class.

 

My son is a full-time student and had two classes that we considered doing that for, but he got A's in both despite some significant grading problems. So we're just going to let it drop. He gave them a negative review in the course evaluations which are read by their deans. In one case the professor was extremely disorganized and didn't grade anything until this week, so he had no idea how he'd do. Her exam also had multiple factual errors. In the second case the professor was also extremely disorganized and unclear on his instructions to the point that things weren't graded fairly. DS emailed each time to complain and in each case it was regraded. But he got nasty in the last few weeks with DS via email, saying that he was a complainer. He was also routinely 15-20 minutes late and let out class 30-45 minutes early without really covering what they needed. The second professor is a full-timer that I expected more of because he's a former colleague of mine. People change, and now we know NOT to have DD take a class with him next fall.

Edited by G5052
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Yes!

 

My last class I took I had a solid A.  Beyond solid.  I ended up with an A minus on the transcript.  So I thought that cannot be right and contacted him.  Sure enough he entered the wrong grade.  I had a 98 average in the class so good grief there was just no way.

 

This is exactly what is going on with my son now.  He is hesitant to contact the professor and I keep telling him he needs to do it because he earned the A.

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I am SO glad I asked! I had no idea this was a relatively common thing to do! DD is a first-gen college student, so we are learning a lot of this together... :)

 

Now, fingers-crossed that dd gets good news!! (or, at least, gets a solid understanding of where she went wrong!)

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This is exactly what is going on with my son now.  He is hesitant to contact the professor and I keep telling him he needs to do it because he earned the A.

 

It wasn't even that straight forward for me because I had an adjunct and he doesn't have an office.  There was also no way to contact him directly and all the on-line stuff was gone by the time the grades were mailed out.  I called the school, e-mailed the school, and even had to deal with someone who was essentially laughing at me on the phone.  Like oh brother you dork.  She's the dork.

 

But anyway, he was very apologetic and I am sure he was more than happy to fix it.  He said it's this pull down menu when you enter the grade and it's so easy to just click the wrong thing. 

 

I also save all my papers until at least that point in time when the grades are posted because you never know. 

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It wasn't even that straight forward for me because I had an adjunct and he doesn't have an office.  There was also no way to contact him directly and all the on-line stuff was gone by the time the grades were mailed out.  I called the school, e-mailed the school, and even had to deal with someone who was essentially laughing at me on the phone.

 

Do you not receive contact information from your instructors? They should have an email address.

 

It is always a good idea to request an email address and not just rely on the messaging function of the Learning Management System, because that can be down and you also may not be able to log in from everywhere.

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But anyway, he was very apologetic and I am sure he was more than happy to fix it.  He said it's this pull down menu when you enter the grade and it's so easy to just click the wrong thing. 

 

I also save all my papers until at least that point in time when the grades are posted because you never know. 

Yes it can be easy to click on the wrong grade in a pull-down menu when you are having to enter a lot of grades.  I have used a system that lists the options in the pull down as

 

A

A-

B

B-

B+

C

C-

C+

 

Why is the + for the grade after the minus???--Alphabetical order?  

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Do you not receive contact information from your instructors? They should have an email address.

 

It is always a good idea to request an email address and not just rely on the messaging function of the Learning Management System, because that can be down and you also may not be able to log in from everywhere.

 

Yes we do, but when I went into the system to e-mail him all the info was wiped out.  It's like you e-mail within a program and that's all set up for each class.   Kinda weird.  When I went to search for his address in the general system, I could not find it.  No clue why. 

 

He had the correct grade in the system when I looked after the final.  It's just when I got the grade sheet in the mail it was wrong.  So this was somewhat long after the fact. 

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Yes it can be easy to click on the wrong grade in a pull-down menu when you are having to enter a lot of grades.  I have used a system that lists the options in the pull down as

 

A

A-

B

B-

B+

C

C-

C+

 

Why is the + for the grade after the minus???--Alphabetical order?  

 

Huh, that's pretty weird. 

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I am SO glad I asked! I had no idea this was a relatively common thing to do! DD is a first-gen college student, so we are learning a lot of this together... :)

 

Now, fingers-crossed that dd gets good news!! (or, at least, gets a solid understanding of where she went wrong!)

 

Hopefully you will indeed get it worked out.

 

In 18+ years of teaching, I've actually only made final grade mistakes five times that I know of, so I don't think I'd call that "relatively common."

 

It does happen though. Trust but verify! 

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Hopefully you will indeed get it worked out.

 

In 18+ years of teaching, I've actually only made final grade mistakes five times that I know of, so I don't think I'd call that "relatively common."

 

It does happen though. Trust but verify! 

 

Yeah it never happened before for me.  And I've taken a lot of classes.

 

Once had a school basically delete the fact I was enrolled in a course.  They had no record of it.  I had to show them I paid for it and have the instructor show them her records.  The instructor had my name on her list and I completed the course.  When I got the grade sheet it wasn't listed at all.  No clue how that happened and it was hard to get that sorted out.

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Yeah it never happened before for me.  And I've taken a lot of classes.

 

Once had a school basically delete the fact I was enrolled in a course.  They had no record of it.  I had to show them I paid for it and have the instructor show them her records.  The instructor had my name on her list and I completed the course.  When I got the grade sheet it wasn't listed at all.  No clue how that happened and it was hard to get that sorted out.

Wow, that would be upsetting! 

 

I used to have nightmares that I had forgotten a class and suddenly had to take a final for it!

 

When I was in college, I only had one of my grades that was a surprise--but since it was better than I expected, I didn't go ask! (I've always wondered if I just did really well on the final or if that was a mistake though!)

Edited by MerryAtHope
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Wow, that would be upsetting! 

 

I used to have nightmares that I had forgotten a class and suddenly had to take a final for it!

 

When I was in college, I only had one of my grades that was a surprise--but since it was better than I expected, I didn't go ask! (I've always wondered if I just did really well on the final or if that was a mistake though!)

 

Yeah, I keep hoping the bank forgets I still owe money for my student loans.  That would be nice.

 

:lol:

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Both of my girls contacted instructors after the semester. Both ended up with grade increases (B+ to A for both).

 

For one of them, it was the entire batch of students the instructor taught this semester who felt their grades were incorrect. All but 5 grades were changed. Some up, some down. Fortunately, dd's was an up! The department head ended up involved. Dd said she is pretty sure the guy just doesn't know how to do basic math...meaning average grades. A couple of her friends went from C's to A's. Fortunately, he isn't a math teacher! So, yeah, it happens a lot.

Edited by Lolly
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I had it happen to me once. I had calculated that to make an A, I needed a 95 or better on the final. But to make a B, all I needed was at least a 25 on the final. I would have a C if I didn't bother to show up for the final. When the grades were posted, it showed that I had a D. This was back in the dark ages, so the grades were posted on the professor's office door.

 

I went into a panic and got in touch with the professor as soon as I could, difficult since this was before email and his answering machine was full (back when there were answering machines instead of voicemail and there were no cell phones).

 

As it turns out, he had dictated the grades to his TA and "B" sounds an awful lot like "D". 

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