Pass/Fail Grading Needed to Help Students, Professors

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The year started out with the scare of a possible WWIII, then the fires in Australia and now we have a virus on our hands. Trying to reset 2020 has not gone well for us.

COVID-19 has taken a lot of time and effort away from students who should be focusing on completing the semester. The most difficult part of this semester should have been final exams, but now the playing field has been swept clean. No one truly knows when everything will be back to normal.

Sam Houston State University has moved all courses online, but with the current situation, the administration may need to consider changing the grading as well. A “pass or fail” option needs to be considered to help with the decision to move everything online. Students would be able to pass with a D- or higher, while a failing grade would be lower or an F.

This would help with strains caused by the move for the students and professors who have been scrambling to move forward this semester. This won’t be an easy semester, but simply having the option would be helpful to everyone.

Considering the circumstances, the pandemic has made the pass or fail grading system more valuable than our normal grading system. It provides a straightforward way of grading and can be easily used for online work.

This new grading system would act as a safeguard in case students get sick or have an emergency. Considering the constant changes in the total confirmed cases of people with the virus, it is a possibility someone could become sick and not even know until something serious happens.

In a pass or fail system, the benefit for the professors is similar to that of the students. Professors still have to go through the assignments of each student to uphold academic honesty, but it is easier for them to do.

With online courses, professors only have a limited amount of resources for the course and after what has happened, the “pass or fail” grading may help with giving more time for the professors to decide what information they want to put online.

The pandemic is still ongoing, and no one knows when it will slow down. Going online has eased the stress of possibly catching the virus but has, in turn, added other stresses because the courses weren’t structured to be taught online.

Given the circumstances, the pass or fail grading option would benefit everyone during this time. It is hard to tell what the upcoming months will bring for 2020, but we must keep moving forward and continue helping each other to succeed during this time.

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