Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Your Prof on Drugs???

Are professors taking stimulants to get ahead?  The NYTimes wants to know. . .

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that professors are taking adderall and other stimulants, so that they can stay focused and work twice as hard.    Do you think there is a lot of brain-doping among the faculty here?  

The article goes from that to a discussion of whether brain-doping is worse than steroids in sports.  The media does like the broad discussion about where we should/can draw the line between unnatural and natural improvement of ourselves.  . .

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Do we need a new grading scale?

The faculty senate wants to change the grade scale here at Oshkosh.  They are holding a referendum on the question in a few weeks.

The referendum asks whether we should abandon the current scale and move to a more traditional +/- scale.  Now we have an 8-point scale, if we change, we would have a 12-point scale.

The reasons for this seems to be that the current scale does not give us enough precision in grading and that we are different than most other institutions.

Now that I have written this, I can't figure out why.  Who cares?  Who dislikes the present scale so much that we need to change it?  I can not really be against having the ability to make finer distinctions, but I don't see why this has come up as a topic now.

Does anyone have really strong feelings about this?  Are we or our students suffering because there are only 8 possible grades?