Effort Grades Need Consequences


The effort grade system evaluates how hard a student is working. For example a student who earns a B+ in a class, but sleeps through it could receive an effort grade of unsatisfactory. Conversely a student who earns a C- can have a great effort grade because he is looking for help, asking questions and participating in class. The effort grading system is simple, as are its benefits for students and teachers.

The system can help students change their behavior accordingly to improve their grade. The administrators can use the effort grade system to track the amount of effort students display in the classroom over semesters. These two benefits alone constitute a reason for the system to exist, but we, the Benedict News, have one question.

What happens if the student doesn’t improve his effort grade?

Consider the weight of an academic grade. If a student earns a failing a grade then it affects the student’s overall grade point average. That in turn affects where the student can apply to college. It can also affect the student’s relationship with parents. The academic grade has a consequence which makes it relevant. Where does the effort grade gain its relevance? What does it affect?  As of now, there are no real consequences.

We believe there should be consequences for students who do not attempt to improve their effort grades. If consequences are not created then we predict that the system will be tossed aside due to its lack of impact on the students. Incentives incite action. Apply these consequences consistently and the effort of students will change.

Some students have complicated reasons for their poor effort stemming from difficult situations in their own lives. We suggest that the counseling services should be made available to these students. However, students still need to reach out for the help for themselves. If a student can’t reach out for that help then he may not be ready to make a change. We do not think administrators have to actively seek out students with poor effort grades. Put the responsibility in the hands of the students to get help.

We urge the community to support the effort grading system by providing assistance and encouragement to students to step up their effort. If a student has a poor effort grade then, maybe a group moderator needs to ask why or what’s wrong.

The effort grade system currently needs teeth because it’s all bark now.