Saturday, November 11, 2006

Grading Exams

I am usually pretty laid-back when it comes to grammar while grading exams. I tell my students that as long as they write sentences that make sense and put them in something that looks like a paragraph, I'll be satisfied. I never bother with misspellings or fragments during timed exams because I'd rather they concentrate on demonstrating that they know and understand the material.

Usually, this works out fine and I have no trouble recognizing FDR, WWI, or even the symbol for 'women'. However, I do think New Zealand is taking things a bit too far. The year New Zealand students are going to allowed to use text-speak to answer questions on the national exam. So instead of spelling out complete words they can use U for you, txt for text, and D-bag for Douche-Bag (see this post if you don't think a student would never use that in an exam).

I think this is going a bit too far. Not because I think that text-speak is going to bring down civilization as we know it, but because how the heck are the graders/professors going to know for certain what the student is trying to convey? Does everyone but me recognize these terms? Is there even a standard interpretation of them?

I propose we all stand up to the text messengers and demand that our students continue to use vowels appropriately and if you don't like it -- FU.

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