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Grade Culture


What do grades reflect for the Department of Human Physiology?

A+ signifies a rarefied level of achievement. The student shows a command of material that includes both faultless explanation of the details of the content, and the ability to apply the material at all levels assessed.

A signifies an exceptional level of achievement. The student shows a superb command of the material and the ability to apply their knowledge at many different levels. This grade is indicative of committed, motivated, and fully engaged learners who take advantage of all learning opportunities, both inside and outside of the classroom.

B signifies a good but not exceptional level of achievement. The student shows a decent grasp of the material and the ability to apply it at several but not all levels.

C signifies a fair level of achievement. The student shows some mastery of the material and a narrow range of application. This grade may be indicative of a mismatch between the study techniques and course assessments, or a lack of commitment, motivation or engagement leading to less than full participation in learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom.

D signifies little or no true understanding of the material. This grade may be indicative of little or no commitment, motivation or engagement in the course learning opportunities. Human Physiology does not use plus and minus designations for this level of performance.

F signifies a performance below the level of random chance. It is assumed that the learning objectives have not been met, and therefore no credit has been earned for the course.

Many courses in human physiology use criterion-referenced grading, rather than norm-referenced grading (i.e., grading on a curve), to promote cooperative learning among students. In some courses the instructor may choose to use norm-referenced grading in order to, for example, minimize any negative impact on students when new teaching or testing methods are being implemented or mitigate grade inflation.

Instructors in human physiology put considerable thought into the criterion for determining final grades before they post grades. If you believe there has been an error in how your grade has been calculated, please check with your instructor. However, it is considered inappropriate behavior to lobby an instructor for a better grade, and these requests are never granted.

Academic misconduct including plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration on assignments, cheating or disrespectful communication will not be tolerated by faculty or students, and may result in an F in the class.