Professor’s plan to let students grade themselves gets an F

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 18:39:22-04

A proposal to allow University of Georgia students to choose their own grades has failed after the school axed the idea.

The plan, put forward by business school professor Richard Watson, has been removed from an online description of the fall semester syllabus for his data management class.

But an archived syllabus outlines a “stress reduction” policy that offers students the option to choose their own grades. “If you feel unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable material or the overall course, you can email the instructor indicating what grade you think is appropriate and it will be so changed,” the policy reads.

“No explanation is required, but it is requested that you consider waiting 24 hours before emailing the instructor.”

Watson also wrote that students should leave “immediately” if they are stressed out by group work. “If in a group meeting, you feel stressed by your group’s dynamics, you should leave the meeting immediately and need offer no explanation to group members,” Watson said.

Dean: Plan gave students ‘inappropriate input’

Watson acknowledged his policies might “hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material,” but wrote that he would “provide every opportunity” for students who wanted to gain a better understanding of the course material.

References to the stress reduction policy have now been removed from the online description of the syllabus, but the archived version indicates Watson had planned on implementing the policy for the data management class.

Benjamin C. Ayers, dean of the university’s Terry College of Business, released a statement on Tuesday distancing the school from Watson’s initial syllabus.

“The syllabus stated that his grading policy would allow students inappropriate input into the assignment of their own grades,” the statement read.

Ayers added that he had “explained the discrepancy to the professor, and he has removed the statement from his syllabus.”

Watson did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.