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Case Study: Resolving Grade Disputes

Part One: How to do it?

This is Jeff's first year as a TA at Queen's. He is a lab demonstrator in a large course that has 6 lab sections, each led by a different TA. He runs the lab each week, and marks the weekly lab reports for the students in his section. These lab reports are worth a percentage of the students' final grades in the course.

It is the fifth week into the semester, and Jeff is quite pleased with how his labs have been progressing. Although his only previous experience with labs has been as a student in another university, he has managed to give a coherent introduction to the lab each week, and it seems that the students are working fairly well on the lab experiments. He is really pleased that students are coming to him with questions about lab procedures and the underlying rationale for the procedures, and that he has been able to answer their questions and give good clear explanations.

Arthur, one of the better students in the group, comes to see him after class one week. Arthur reports that his friend Janet, in a different lab section of the same course, is receiving better grades in the weekly lab reports than Arthur is - for comparable work. Jeff tries to justify the grades to Arthur, but he can see that his explanation does not satisfy Arthur.

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Last updated June 24, 1997

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