In March many Colleges sent students home and the rest of the semester was online. This was quite disruptive for the students. Schools, quite reasonably, wanted to make it less traumatic for students.
So what to do about grades? There are two issues. I state the options I have heard.
ISSUE ONE If P/F How to Got About it?
1) Grade as usual.
2) Make all classes P/F.
PRO: Much less pressure on students.
CON: Might be demoralizing for the good students.
3) Make all classes P/F but allow students to opt for letter grades BUT they must decide before the last day of class. Hence teachers must post cutoffs before the final is graded
CON: Complicated and puts (a) teachers in an awkward position of having to post cutoffs before the final, and (b) puts students in an awkward position of having to predict how well they would do.
CON: A student can blow off a final knowing they will still get a D (passing) in the course.
PRO: Good students can still get their A's
CAVEAT: A transcript might look very strange. Say I was looking at a graduate school applicant and I see
Operating Systems: A
Theory of Computation: P
I would likely assume that the Theory course the student got a C. And that might be unfair.
3) Make all classes P/F but allow students to opt for letter grades AFTER seeing their letter grades.
PRO: Less complicated an awkard
PRO: A students blah blah
CAVEAT above still applies.
ISSUE TWO If P/F what about a D in the major
At UMCP COMP SCI (and I expect other depts)
a D is a passing grade for the University
a D is not a passing grade for the Major.
So if a s CS Major gets a D in Discrete Math that does not count for the major--- they have to take it over again.
But if classes are P/F what do do about that.
1) Students have to take classes in their major for a letter grade.
CON: The whole point of the P/F is to relieve pressure on the students in these hard times.
2) Students taking a course in their major who get a D will still get a P on the transcript but will be told that they have to take the class over again.
3) Do nothing, but tell the students
IF you got a D in a course in your major and you are taking a sequel, STUDY HARD OVER THE SUMMER!
4) Do nothing, but tell the teachers
Students in the Fall may have a weak background. Just teach the bare minimum of what they need for the major.
(Could do both 3 and 4)
SO- what is your school doing and how is it working?