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Grading

The worst part of the job for any teacher is grading. Just as no student wants to receive a bad grade, no teacher wants to give one. However, in most of our institutions, grading is a necessary evil. If an institution requires clinics to give traditional grades (meaning something other than pass/ fail), some of the factors that influence a grade include:

  • Class participation (if having a class component)
  • Effort (which can be evaluated in a number of ways)
  • Diligence (the ability to struggle with problems before coming to the supervisor)
  • Work product (including research and writing ability, problem-solving, and attention to detail)
  • Efficiency
  • Professionalism
  • Client management
  • Collaboration
  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Assignments (if given)

How one balances the various factors is up to individual faculty supervisors. Some of the factors are not easily measurable. In a clinic, we tend to get to know our students both personally and professionally. If we are working with a student that is trying hard but doesn’t produce the best work, our tendency is to resist giving that student a bad grade (understanding that a “bad” grade is relative). On the other hand, we may have a student that we do not like personally and whom we think does not share our own values but produces great work for the client. How does all of that translate into a grade? There are no easy answers to these questions, but making a matrix with whatever factors a supervisor thinks are important and then rating each student in each category will at least give consistent results. (See Grading for more information).

"How To" guide current as of November 2013.

For a printable version of this guide, please click here pdf.

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