Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ethical Grading of an Experimental Archaeology Course

After the first day of class, I further confirmed my opinion that grading a class like this is difficult.

The first day of class is usually informal and turns into a Q & A session. After providing the syllabus, discussing goals of the course, and discussing the textbooks, I thought things were pretty well spelled out.

One student complained about the work load (no more than 35 written pages divided up into several papers). I had to explain to him that written papers provide the most ethical way to grade students in an experimental archaeology class. I can't grade students on their ability to make an arrowhead, because making a "good" arrowhead can take months and years of practice. I only have a semester to teach them ceramics, fibers, and lithics.

Each student has different abilities and each will have success in different technologies. I cannot grade someone on the aesthetic quality of their finished product. I can grade someone on their ability to research and synthesize information.


Folsom8k said...

By the way, the kid who complained about the work dropped the class.

PBN said...

this is a test