OPINION: Students have a right to know grades as soon as possible

Many students have been in the position where they realize some of their grades have not been published and assignments not returned. Sometimes it feels like forever before the teacher enters the grades, and when the teacher finally passes back the graded assignments, the student is not interested in learning his or her mistakes because new scores have been created. This means that the students do not get a proper understanding of their mistakes because of the tardiness of the teacher.  

Assignments need to be published online and handed back quickly so students can discuss any questions they have over their grade. A grade would not be timely if seen too late, and it would lose relevance.

When teachers do not make grades known to the students, parents also get snappy. The phrase “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” is not applicable in this situation as parents and students can get into arguments over grades, which would not be necessary if the teacher had posted scores quickly in the first place. The constant nagging of parents regarding the publication of test scores can also be a huge pain. When students know their grades, communication between them and their parents or guardians becomes easier.

Some parents might even punish their child if there is no evidence of improvement in their child’s academic progress. Parents often may not accept the student’s word that he or she turned in the work. Parents want proof, which is the hard copy of the graded assignments and the published grade. If neither are given, parents may not believe their child. Teachers who return assignments and update grades online in a timely manner can help calm an unsettled parent.

Now, some might think, “Oi! Teachers are busy people, and you have no idea what they have to go through everyday!” It is true that this author has no idea about the daily life of a teacher. They should have their lives and don’t necessarily have to sit like robots grading papers, but they still have to do everything in their power to help students understand their mistakes so they can become functioning individuals in society, which includes updating grades regularly.

Teachers sometimes also make mistakes, as they are human. If a teacher posts a grade timely and a mistake — such as a 91% is mistakenly typed as a 61%– is caught quickly by the student, he or she can go and sort things out with the teacher.

Ultimately, students need to be self-directed learners and are responsible for their own academic success. However, some  worries a student may go through over their grades may be avoided if teachers publish grades quickly.