This year there was a one-week space between the release of fall midterm comments and grades: comments from teachers were released Tuesday, October 17th, while letter grades were released Tuesday, October 23. The school informed the students of this change via lunch announcements and Today on the Hill.
“Because we value the feedback the comments provide our students and because we want our students to process, learn from, and act on that feedback, we are scheduling a special time for advisors to meet with their advisees to discuss the comments,” the message on Today on the Hill reads. “To help our students focus on the comments ahead of their grades, we will release grades on Tuesday, October 23.”
There have been mixed reactions. Some students felt appreciative of the sentiment of the prioritization of feedback over grades.
According to Amy Jayne Morrissett ’20, “I think it’s good—it’s good to focus on how the teacher thinks you’re doing, not just a quantitative value; especially here, it’s hard to care about the quality of your work, but the comments make you focus on what work you’re producing.”
“I think it was useful to ensure one aspect that students read their comments,” Chair of the Classics Department Dr. Patrick Lake said. “Often that has not been the case, and students often go straight to their grades when the comments actually put the grades in context. But I do think that the seven-day gap was longer than it needed to be.”
A Student expressed similar sentiments pertaining to the length of the break between comments and grades.
“I really appreciate the emphasis on comments instead of grades, but a week-long gap is too long,” Nethmin Liyanage ’20 said. “I think two or three days is enough to internalize and understand comments. So for the rest of the week, people are just anxious to see their grades.”