Self-Honesty in a Self-Assessed Class (Draft)

One of the most reliable ways to receive the truest grade of a student in my opinion, is to make them grade their work themselves. Just like the name of the course, “Risk and Rewards,” there are many risks and rewards that come with the course, being a self-evaluated subject. In this class, everything we do is based around care; care for my growth, care for my peers’ growth, and care for my course accountability.

In the course syllabus, a major part of our grades is determined based on our “care for my course accountability.” This makes up 20% of our grade at the end of the semester, which will be on a 1-100 scale. The risk of having this privilege is not having an in-person teacher to remind you to do the work, you just have to do it yourself. If you are not a motivated person, this freedom could be your downfall. For example, if you aren’t on the lookout, checking your email, checking canvas, doing extra credit, you’ll begin to forget to check your work, and gradually fall behind.

However, having the freedom to hold yourself accountable, has even more, long-term benefits. Later in life, when we all live on our own, without our parents or other guardians, we will have to hold ourselves accountable. No one is going to be there, reminding us about chores we have to do, or to pay our bills. This option we have in this course prepares us for the later in life experience we need.

The second evaluation that makes up a large portion of our grade is the “care for my growth,” mentioned in the syllabus. This makes up 40% of our final grade and is once again determined by us on a scale of 1-100. This section of our grade is made up of our ability to apply feedback given to us by our peers, apply key course concepts, essentially just how much care and effort we put into improving our work. The risk of this freedom that we have is that since our work isn’t graded by a professor, we may not concern ourselves with the quality of our work, leading to our work gradually becoming lower and lower quality.

The reward of having this privilege is in the future it’ll be easier to honestly evaluate how we’re doing. Even now just in other college courses we’re taking, we can be able to feel more motivated to remain consistent throughout the semester. Having the ability to grade yourself, makes you want to be even more on track with your work. I think there’s a direct correlation between the quality of work improving and being honest. Because once you realize that YOU grade YOURSELF, you don’t want to be dishonest, so you try to improve the quality of your assignments.

The last evaluation we have to make at the end of the semester is our ability to “care for peers’ growth.” In my opinion I think this is the most important section of our evaluation. This self-assessed section will make up 40% of our final grade and is once again based on a 1-100 scale. I think a unique quality of this course is that once we submit an assignment, the other students enrolled in the course have the ability to assess our work and leave comments and advice to improve our work. Now, obviously I think a risk here is that someone could become offended by the criticism on their work or disagree and become upset with the advice. Personally, the risk I see here is that some students could be anxious to make their assignments public, in fear that the other students will judge their work; or vice versa, they could be afraid to comment on another students work because they don’t want to upset anyone or have another student think their critiques were not legitimate. 

I think that this section is the most important because throughout life, everyone receives constructive criticism from others, and this objective in the course teaches us how to take the criticism and apply it to our work to improve it. Most of the time criticism is used to help better others, and in life, when people offer it, it’s probably better to take the advice and use it, rather than disregard it and stay the same. Having people there constantly being able to evaluate your work will help us all improve the quality of it, and hopefully if we remember their advice, we can apply it to our work in the future.

After reading over and evaluating the key concepts of this course, I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of the time, the rewards outweigh the risk, at least academically. The rules of this course are more unique, and I think that rewards us with more experience for future courses.

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