When you do something bad you don’t want anyone else to know about it. The same scenario applies to students’ grades. If a student got a bad grade he doesn’t want anyone else to know about it as well.
- Don’t write grades for exams, assignments, projects, etc. on the first page. If the paper is multiple pages write the grade on the last page, and tell your students where you write the grade. If the paper is one page only write the grade in the back of the paper or in a small font bottom right. Writing the grade in a very big font in the front page is not advisable. In a class with many students it is difficult to hand out papers to students one by one. In such big classes, instructors usually hand the papers to one student to pick his paper and pass the pile to a neighbor student and so on. In such case, students will only be able to read the names on the first page but not other students’ grades.
- If you are posting grades on your website or on your door don’t use students’ names or their IDs. I remember during my bachelor degree, in Jordan, professors used to post grades along with students’ IDs. Since students’ IDs are not private it is not a good way to post grades. Some professors ask their students to send them special names or nicknames that no one else know. Of course the better way would be using special software like WebCT or BlackBoard in which every student has an account and students log in to see their grades.
- In a case a student is absent when you give back students’ papers don’t give the paper to a student who is a friend to the absent student. Assume nothing!
- Believe it or not I took a class with a college professor who likes to arrange the exam papers in descending order. The last student to get his paper has the lowest grade. I am not sure what this professor was thinking but it is by far the most stupid way to give back the exam papers. He is telling the students and now the most stupid of you is …!!!