Saturday, October 31, 2015

Racial frustrations

I received an email from a student who was querying about the mark they had received for an assignment. This, of itself, is nothing unusual. A small minority of students are always upset about the marks they receive and, as the unit coordinator, students will often email me about their grievances. And it's my job to support them and help them to identify the things they did well and the areas that need attention.

But...this was the first time a student has put forward the contention that a low mark might have been due to him having a non-Anglo name (the basis of his complaint against the person who marked his particular report). I was shocked by the accusation.

In reality, marks are carefully awarded against a clearly stated set of marking criteria. The student's name shouldn't matter – and it doesn't, not in my classes.

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