A geology professor who planned to grade engineering students on a different scale in his oceanography class scrapped the system yesterday after students complained about it. At the beginning of the semester, Associate Geology Professor Charles Thayer told his Geology 130 class he would use two different curves because engineering students were better prepared in the sciences and, therefore, had an unfair advantage. Many of the students in the class registered complaints, however, and Thayer agreed yesterday to grade all students equally. Thayer said last night he had established the dual curve system to help the students and to keep students from other schools from dropping the course. Engineering students comprise approximately half the class. "I thought it was a move to benefit the undergraduates," he said. "I didn't perceive it as a popular move, so we won't have it." Thayer, however, feels that there is still value to the system. "I talked to collegues and it is a tried and true method at other Ivy League schools, but if the students don't want it they won't have it," he added. "Anyway, it takes more effort for us to draw up two curves." Thayer said he has no plans to implement the dual curve system in future classes. Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said Sunday that the case was unprecedented and that there is no official policy governing dual grading curves. But engineering students complained that they did not have an unfair edge over others since they were not required to take any previous chemistry or biology courses that would have aided them in the course. They also said they thought the policy was against University procedures. "It wasn't fair to have it," said Engineering junior Glen O'Neill. "It seemed that people brought up the point, if no one said anything he would have stayed with it." "Essentially what I got out of what [Thayer] said was that his only reason for the dual curve system was to make college students not want to drop the class just because they were going to be graded against engineering students," Engineering junior Scott Villa said.Comments powered by Disqus
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