Kalli Binkowski

Misuse/misunderstanding of Grade Comments

Discussion created by Kalli Binkowski on Oct 30, 2018
Latest reply on Oct 31, 2018 by Deena Wassenberg

I have an instructor in a large class that is unhappy that students can comment on their assignment grades. She feels courses really need the option to turn off the student ability to comment on their grades. Essentially this is encouraging knee-jerk reactions to grades so we are getting dozens of comments from students, many should not be going out -and would not be going out if students needed to spend the time to actually compose an email. Some of the comments are legitimate questions/issues that should be dealt with, but those are getting lost in all the others. Additionally these comments are going to the entire teaching staff associated with the course (all the TAs, lab service coordinator). I know we can manage our settings to not get these notifications, but that does not solve the issue that students think they are communicating to someone who might never see it. And these comments are going to a large number of people.


We are talking here about a lecture course into which all the lab sections have been crosslisted.  That means there are over 10 TAs, 2 instructors, and a lab coordinator.  When a lab assignment is graded and a student comments that notification is going out to everyone, not just the lab TA that did the grading and it is getting lost in the messages from all the other students commenting on grades.


From what I see on the community, this idea was posed once and answered with "grade comments cannot be disabled."

The issue is that instructors need to be able to determine what method they want students to use to communicate with them - communication that is ignored or not received or swamped in 30 non-important messages is
not actually communication.


Anyone have any suggestions of how to live with or improve this issue?