## January 13, 2004

### Doing my part to combat grade inflation

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at January 13, 2004 1:55 PM It may be possible for me to take a 10-hour teaching position this term in addition to my research. It's been too long since I've tormented students, so maybe I should look into this...

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**I can give you tips on how to combat grade inflation**

Heh...my track record on my exams continues.

I gave two untimed midterms and a timed final in complex analysis last fall.

The mean on midterms 1 and 2 were both around 43-45 %. For the final, which I made _way_ too hard (much harder than I thought it would be), there were 6 problems of 20 points each (but I decided before the final period to count the exam out of 100 anyway, so one could get 120/100). The mean was something like 41 (so, basically 1/3) and the highest score was 67. Ugh... that exam was not my highest point as a professor.

Anyway, in all the classes I've ever taught, only one person has _ever_ gotten more than 80% overall (including hw and occasionally liberal grading after I made something too hard).

I don't even try to make things this hard; I want means in the mid 60s, and thus far I typically get means in the mid 40s.

In sum, I'm combatting grade inflation.

This semester, I am teaching a project course of my own designing (an undergrad course on mathematical modeling). This is much more fun than the usual stuff.