Making Pass-Fail Decisions

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  • 00:00 Your Students
  • 0:37 Passing Students
  • 1:04 Failing Students
  • 1:31 Borderline Students
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to learn how you can make pass or fail decisions for your students. Learn what criteria to follow to decide whether a student should pass your class.

Your Students

As a teacher, you will have a class full of students. You will have some students that do well and some other students that don't seem to understand the material at all. Some students will answer all their test questions correctly, while others seem to get most of the test questions wrong. Some students always turn in their homework, and others always have an excuse for not having their homework done. In some cases, it is very easy to see which students should fail and which ones should pass. But in others, it is not as clear cut. In this lesson, we will talk about all of these situations.

Passing Students

First, a student that is clearly passing is a student that does all of her homework and performs well on tests. To pass means to go to the next level. A student that has passed your class is ready to move on to the next class. You have no reservations about passing this student because in talking with her, you can tell that she has a good understanding of the material she has learned in your class. She is consistent with her test scores and with her homework performance.

Failing Students

A failing student, on the other hand, rarely turns in her homework. To fail means not achieving a goal. A student who fails needs to repeat your class again. It means that she did not get a good understanding of the lessons taught in your class. This student performs very poorly on tests, and you can tell that this student does not understand what you have taught her because when you talk to her about the class material, it is clear that she does not grasp the material at all.

Borderline Students

When you can tell clearly whether a student is passing or failing, it becomes easy to assign a pass or fail grade to them. But when a student is borderline, it becomes a bit more difficult to assign a pass or fail grade.

For example, you might have a student that struggles on tests, but when you talk to him, he is able to answer all your questions correctly. On paper, this student shows that he is not going to pass, but in person, you believe that he knows the material. What do you do? What about those students that just miss the pass mark by one point or two? You see them working hard on the tests, and you see that they do their homework every time. You see that when they do their homework, they really work out all the problems, and you can see their written down work. Should you pass this student or not?

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