How many times have you gone to Blackboard, clicked on one of your classes, clicked “check grades” and across the board was dashes and zeros?

      Surely teachers hand back assignments, quizzes and projects graded.

To some extent students can assume and estimate how they are doing in the class but with different grades holding different weights, it’s difficult to truly know where you stand.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know without having to be a mathematics major or doing some type of CIA investigation, exactly where you stood going into your finals? Wouldn’t it be nice to know how good you have to do on your finals in order to get that “A” or to pass the class?

The technology is out there. The link “Check Grades” or “My Grades” under your courses in Blackboard from my understanding is designed to do this. Teachers can set the weight of each assignment. They can add the grade they feel the student should receive for that assignment and Blackboard is then meant to calculate it with the rest of the student’s grades and weights to accurately provide an up-to-date overall course grade for that student.

This would require three steps for a professor. They would have to add the name of the assignment, the weight of it and the received student’s grade.

In the past four years that I’ve been attending Keene State College as a student, less than 25 percent of my professors have accurately utilized this useful function.

I’m currently finishing up with my last five college courses, all five of which have a Blackboard but only one of those do I have something other than dashes and zeros in the “My Grades” link.

I’ve always considered myself to be a sociable person and I’m not going to go into a final worried about not passing a class.

I must acknowledge with appreciation that over the years all of my professors have been more than willing to look over my grades with me and provide me with a reasonably accurate estimate of how I was looking going into my finals.

This is a method I’m sure many students use to figure out how they’re doing towards the end of the semester. It works, but it adds unnecessary stress for both the student and the professor.

Even being a part of this technology generation I must admit that I often find myself frustrated trying to figure out and adapt to new advancements. I totally relate and understand that for some professors’ technology and things like Blackboard can be incredibly overwhelming.

So where do we land?

If this function exists and has the ability to allow students to accurately see how they’re progressing throughout the semester while only adding three simple steps to a professors grading process, then I feel it should be suggested as a requirement.

If before each semester KSC hired computer technicians to help professors set up their Blackboards and demonstrate to them how to accomplish these three steps for their students then I think this idea could be obtainable.

Turning this suggestion into a reality I think would benefit everyone in the long run. Students could confront their concerns at any point throughout the semester and stay current with their standing.

Professors wouldn’t have a mob of students at the end of the school year trying to figure out how they’re doing going into finals.

I’ve argued against technology many times in my life but knowing that I would’ve found this function beneficial and helpful had it been utilized by all my professors in the past four years, I stand for it.


Koby Dunkling can be contacted at


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