Inside Higher Education- Since he started teaching at Johns Hopkins University in 2005, Professor Peter Fröhlich has maintained a grading curve in which each class’s highest grade on the final counts as an A, with all other scores adjusted accordingly. So if a midterm is worth 40 points, and the highest actual score is 36 points. As the semester ended in December, students in Fröhlich’s “Intermediate Programming”, “Computer Science Fundamentals,” and “Introduction to Programming for Scientists and Engineers” classes decided to test the limits of the policy, and collectively planned to boycott the final. Because they all did, a zero was the highest score in each of the three classes, which, by the rules of Fröhlich’s curve, meant every student received an A. “The students refused to come into the room and take the exam, so we sat there for a while: me on the inside, they on the outside,” Fröhlich said. “After about 20-30 minutes I would give up…. Then we all left.” The students waited outside the rooms to make sure that others honored the boycott, and were poised to go in if someone had. No one did, though.Fröhlich took a surprisingly philosophical view of his students’ machinations, crediting their collaborative spirit. “The students learned that by coming together, they can achieve something that individually they could never have done,” he said via e-mail. “At a school that is known (perhaps unjustly) for competitiveness I didn’t expect that reaching such an agreement was possible.”
I love a good excuse to not do an assignment as much as the next guy because I’ve probably spent more time in college trying to figure out how to get around doing shit than it would take to do it normally, so while I’m not going to straight out praise the class for their ingenuity, I can at least appreciate the effort. But if I’m the professor I’m not commending them for their ability to work together as a group, I’m giving them all zeroes anyway. Oh, you found a loophole where you can all get As? Well I found a loophole where I’m the professor and I can give you whatever fucking grade I feel like. I’m sure there were definitely some students who I won’t stereotype as Asian but who were probably Asian that would have gone in there and aced the entire thing, but chances are most of the people in the class saw that they wouldn’t have to take it and instead of studying they spent a wild night browsing Reddit because it’s a computer science class. Tell them things have changed and if they don’t take the exam they fail. Simple as that. One of the major with college is that most kids go there and live in a bubble for so long they forget how the real world works. If you’re a programmer and you decide to team up with your nerd buddies and not do the shit you’re supposed to because you didn’t study for an exam in college and don’t actually know how to do it, you’re not going to get rewarded. Your job is going to get outsourced to an Indian guy named “Jim” who will do it twice as good for half the price. But hey, at least you got an A that one time.