Social experiment


This is one of the moments I am glad I attend my faculty. And as usually is the case, the moment has nothing to do with the actual curriculum, but with my so-students and their (re)actions.

In one of the classes, the professor offered us to participate in grading our fellow-students. We each have a seminar to present upon which depends the final grade. The grade itself would be composed out of the grade of the professor and the average grade of the fellow-students. Of course, not all of the studends agreed, claiming that they do not know how to grade each other (wtf) and that the whole procedure is biased and unfair. So the professor asked who does not want to be in the “grading commision” and people raised hands. Quite a lot of them actually. And then she asked, who does want to be in the “grading commision”. Only a few hands were raised. Mine included. And then the professor said “Good, those of you who raised hands, write your names on a piece of paper so that I`ll know who you are.” But now the students who did not want to grade others protested that it is not fair and that more than half of the class was against grading each other.

The whole thing made me smile. Grin actually. Here you have some individuals thinking that whatever they say represents the vote of the majority and that no other opinion should be stated. And when such opinion is in fact stated out loud and (god forbbid!) approved by the “ruler”, they feel offended and played-out.

It shows very clearly the mentality of these people and the (i)logic that drives them. The rules they set in their own heads and then expect the whole world to follow them as well. And that makes me wonder just what kind of people/journalists will they be when they grow up. Or should that be an IF?


3 komentarjev na “Social experiment

  1. Jernej

    Razlog je povsem enostaven… tako ocenjevanje je popolnoma zgrešeno in nima nobene povezave z dejansko kvaliteto predstavitve. Bolj ali manj bodo vsi solidarni in razdajali desetke, v najslabšem primeru mogoče celo 9, 8 sploh ni več na meniju. Ocene so znane že v naprej, tako kot glasovi v parlamentu.

    Been there, done that. Pointless waste of time…

    Obraten pojav je sicer mogoč v primeru da se med seboj res slabo razumete in komaj čakate na maščevanje. Tudi to je mogoče. In which case I wouldn’t want to be you. 😉

    V končni fazi je profesor prisiljen da ignorira take ocene. Razen če mu je v interesu da vsi napredujejo v naslednji letnik.

  2. ill-advised

    But in this case, what they were saying *did* represent the opinion of the majority, if I understand your description correctly.

    I can certainly understand their concerns about having the students grade each other. Your “wtf” seems to suggest that grading a person is trivial, but to me this sounds that you equate grading his/her work with merely expressing your opinion of it with a number from 1 to 10. It is not obvious to me that grading is (or should be) such a trivial matter. Will you take the trouble, before deciding on your grades, to form explicit evaluation criteria, i.e. which aspects of the work you will evaluate and what are the requirements for a certain grade with regard to each aspect? And if yes, how will you know that your criteria are reasonable and that they don’t unfairly overemphasize some aspects at the expense of others?

    Besides, if the students grade each other, surely there is a risk that petty animosities and such things will affect the way people grade. There is a risk that the grading will degenerate into a mere popularity contest.

    Mind you, I’m not trying to say that the professors are perfect at grading — far from it. But at least we can expect/require them to be better — as they are supposed to be better informed on the subject, have more teaching/evaluation experience, and after all they are getting paid to do it and it’s their responsibility. I don’t object to encouraging students to develop such skills by grading each other, but I’d be uncomfortable to see those grades actually count towards a student’s final grade in that course.

  3. jaKa

    well, did it ever occur to you that perhaps their resentment of the idea of grading and being graded by their co-students (that’s what a so-student is supposed to be, right?) has nothing to do with them being egomaniacal, selfish bastards that want their opinions and wishes implemented whatever the costs, but was simply an expression of fear of what such a grading system could do to their grades?!

    after all, it is the teachers’ job, duty and responsibility to grade the students, and that is – as ill-advised has already stated – by no means an easy task to be done in an ad-hoc manner as I suspect you intend to grade your co-students: will you really take time to thoroughly study the works of a whole year’s worth of journalism students? will you carefully design your grading system? I doubt it, so in fact, your willingness to participate in such an experiment is simply a manifestation of immaturity: you don’t go around promising people that you will design and manufacture their furniture, do you? it is perfectly clear to you that you are probably not up to that task, right? so how come that you are able to grade people’s works appropriately, especially taking into account the fact that these works concern a subject that you are still studying about?! this is what I would call having an overbloated ego!

    and, noted on the side, knowing The Average Student at University of Ljubljana(tm), he/she is the last person in the world that I would entrust with grading his peers!


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