Monday, October 23, 2006

Home school

I completed an assignment in my last class. The description of the assignment was to write a rough draft of our final essay, we would not be graded, if it was turned in on time we would get the full five points if not we would get zero. I recieved the paper back and to my suprise was given three points, because "You need to do spell check (you misspelled home school)." This confused me as the assignment said we would not be graded. I emailed the instructor and asked him to explain why he had docked any points when the assignment clearly stated he wouldn't. He wrote back that it was, because of spelling.

I again wrote and said;
I was able to read the comments and I know you are referring to my spelling of the word homeschool, because in the current dictionaries it is spelled astwo words though you will find most of the homeschooling community spells itas one. It is occasionally spelled with a hyphen like this; home-school, but homeschool is the most predominant spelling. If you look it up with either spelling on Amazon you will see that almost all of the book titles relating to this topic are spelled as I have said.
My question, though, is why did you take off for spelling when the directions specifically say that a full five points will be awarded for submitting the rough draft. It further says nothing will be graded. The directions appear that partial credit is not an option, if you turn it in you get five if you don't turn it in you get zero. When asking for a rough draft somethings must be left rough or else it is really a final draft that you want.
I do not mean to be a nuisance, but if I may be so bold it appears that either the assignment was written wrong or you are grading more harshly then the assignment allows.

He replied with:
I do have to grade the assignment, despite what the site states. I am goingto change you grade to a 4, because I probably took off too much forspelling, in hindsight.

So, I am to take from this that the assignment descriptions are not always accurate and the instructors may freely follow them or not. We will be docked according to what is in the insturctors head and we will be told what it was after the due date is past and it is too late to change things. Furthermore, we are to rely on spellcheck to give us the correct spelling of things and not worry about what the correct spelling really is.

I could take that from the assignment or I could sit back and realize that I am falling into a trap. The trap of grades in lue of learning. I know all too well that an A does not make you smart, yet when I get in a graded situation the grade is what I strive for. Because I am not always interested in the material and do not feel it is completely relevant, it is even easier to fall into this. To get an A takes minimal effort usually, but to understand something takes a great deal more. For instance, two days after my third class started we were given the assignment to show from personal examples the difference of the central nervous system and the periphial nervous system. I did not have time to read the whole chapter and did not totally get it, so I just read what everyone else wrote (we post on a discussion forum) and thought of something similair from life to what it appeared they were talking about and wrote it down. I got an A, but I really don't get it.

I feel like I am playing a game and not getting an education, and I am thankful that my children don't have to deal with this yet.

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