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Aschlafly, this section was trimmed prematurely! You may have not been wrong when calling the Franks Germanic, but there are 14 other points which aren't nitpicky at all! AugustO 14:57, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
World History Lectures Homework Five
Dear Mr Schlafly,
I have been approached by other members of the class by email, regarding your marking scheme. To be perfectly honest, Sir, we are concerned. In order to illustrate this, I (on behalf of my associates) feel obliged to point out the following inconsistencies in your grading of World History Homework Five:
- Student 1: the student refers to Charles Martel's army as "Germanic", when they were Franks. The Germanics (Alemanni) and Franks (Francorum) were distinct peoples, as evidenced by the Pact of Reisbach (Donatio Alemannicum) in 699 AD. Yet you give this incorrect answer full marks.
- Student 2: repeatedly uses the impersonal adverb "there" instead of the plural pronoun "their". You give this grammatically incorrect answer 100%.
- Student 3: this student claims that Charles Martel was the grandson of Charlemagne. Charles Martel died in 742. Charlemagne was born in approximately the same year (742 AD according to Ranulph of Higden; 743 according to St. Germaine of Essen). If anything, Charles Martel was Charlemagne's grandfather, not his grandson. You give this incorrect answer 100%.
- Student 3: you claim that the feudal system's treatment of homeless people was "humorous". This is very un-Christian. You give it full marks.
- Student 3: you claim that the period c.476-1000 was "relatively peaceful". This is in direct conflict with the historical record of contemporary Europe, and the content of your own Lecture. You give this answer 100%.
- Student 5: you subtract one point as the answer "lacks a full elaboration of why the Battle of Tours and Charles the Hammer were so significant". Although the answer clearly states "[the battle] effectively ceased Islamic permeation of Europe", it is downgraded while all the other answers, which are substantially shorter and less detailed, are given full marks.
- Student 5: you write "Strong on detail, but analysis as to importance and significance would make your answers even better!". In spite of this, you award full marks to student answers which are short, entirely lacking in detail, and factually inaccurate.
- Student 6: claims that the Carolingian Court ended with Charlemagne. It in fact ended with Odo and Adelaide of Vermandois in 1122, some 204 years after Charlemagne died. You give this incorrect answer 100%.
- Student 7: claims that without the Battle of Tours, America would have been Islamic. This is a very long bow to draw, especially considering that neither contemporary Muslims nor Christians were aware of the existence of the New World. You give this spurious answer 100%.
- Student 12: you subtract marks for a single spelling error, but for students 2 and 15 you award full marks for multiple grammatical and spelling errors.
- Student 12: clearly states that you still have not marked his homework for Lecture Four. Which you haven't.
- Student 13: claims that feudalism was created in direct response to the Viking threat. This is a clear contradiction of historical fact and your own lecture. You award this incorrect answer full marks.
- Student 13: repeatedly uses the impersonal adverb "there" instead of the plural pronoun "their". You give this grammatically incorrect answer 100%, although you subtracted marks from student 12 for a single spelling error.
- Student 15: claims that the Church created the Holy Roman Empire and "placed the Franks at the head of it". This is incorrect, as the Holy Roman Empire was in effect a renaming of the existing Frankish Kingdom. You give this incorrect answer full marks.
- Student 15: claims that Charles Martel "united the Christian people to fight the Muslims". In reality, Martel led a Frankish-Burgindinian coalition. There were far more Christians than the Franks and Burgundinians. You give this incorrect answer full marks.
I fully appreciate that, as students of your course, we are not yet at the same level of knowledge as yourself. However, when your grading awards full marks to answers that are erroneous, inconsistent, and frankly wrong, it makes the entire World History series appear tawdry. On behalf of us all, I hope that these inconsistencies are addressed.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
RexBanner 23:28, 15 October 2011 (EDT)
- Rex, your complaints seem nitpicky. The Franks were Germanic and an answer to a question asking identification of "Charles the Hammer" should at least spell his name correctly!--Andy Schlafly 21:58, 16 October 2011 (EDT)
- Nitpicky? Have your read beyond the first two points? Using a variation of Martel(l) is enough to get a point off, but calling him the grandson of Carolus Magnus is right? Aschlafly, you are still capable of surprising me! (Though I agree that it the Franks - other than the Huns - can be called a Germanic tribe...)
- AugustO 23:10, 16 October 2011 (EDT)
- Dear Mr Schlafly,
- Thankyou for your response. However it must be noted that I, as a representative of the student board, am not alone in stating that your answer is disappointing in the extreme. Your answer regarding the Frankish/Germanic identification ignores the already-mentioned Treaty of 699 which names two distinct groups; your answer to the second point fails to account for issues of translating and transliterating Early Medieval Frankish orthography (and overlooks your granting of 100% grades to other answers which are rife with spelling, punctuation, orthographic, and grammatical mistakes); and you completely ignore the remaining thirteen of the fifteen concerns raised. By calling these concerns "nitpicky", you not only demonstrate an unprofessional dismissive attitude towards your own students and raise serious questions about your marking scheme and grading standards, you thereby suggest that you have not actually read your own Lectures as you award full marks to answers which directly contradict the content of your own course material. The most glaringly obvious is your award of full marks for an answer which claims that Charles Martel was the grandson of Charlemagne - this is equivalent to receiving an answer that Abraham Lincoln was President before George Washington, and awarding it full marks. You have also neglected to answer the student concerns regarding the homework for Lecture Six; an issue which was raised several days ago but still has not been answered. Some deeply concerning issues have been raised regarding your marking of homework and, until an ironclad response is offered which explains why you have chosen to award full marks to a broad selection of spurious and incorrect answers, your competency to assign and grade homework for your own World History course remains highly questionable.
- As noted before, I am sure that this is simply an administrative oversight as you are a very busy man, and we the students look forward to a comprehensive explanation of how the marking scheme works.
- Yours in Faith,
- RexBanner 03:06, 17 October 2011 (EDT)
- Dear Mr Schlafly,
- You may want to compare the answers to homework 5 by students 2 and 13. I should point out that it is not actually my intention to tell on these students. I would just like them to receive fair and meaningful grading of their homework. --FrederickT3 12:13, 17 October 2011 (EDT)
I see that you have not only failed to respond to the concerns raised above; you have actually attempted to hide the concerns by "trimming" your talk page without answering us. This is most disappointing, and I am sorry to say that this action suggests that your attitude towards your students is one of utter contempt. Concerns have been raised, you have failed to respond, and now you are showing a total lack of respect for the very people you are meant to be teaching by trying to hide these concerns under the carpet. This is unprofessional in the extreme and implies that you do not care in the slightest for teaching; even though your own User page discusses at length your teaching "abilities".
In the above discussion, your only contribution (other than accusing me of "nitpicking" for asking why you awarded full marks to wrong answers) was to thank another concerned student for pointing out an instance of copying. You did not address any of the thirteen other points that I, on behalf of myself and other students, raised. Meanwhile, your answer about the copied homework reveals that you had not actually bothered to compare student answers to check for misconduct. I openly admit that this also slipped my attention until it was raised by another student; but I am a student and you are the teacher - apparently. It is not my job to check student answers for misconduct; but it is your job. But sadly, you appear to be uninterested in actually doing this job.
This discussion began as a request that, in light of some possible misinterpretations and misreadings on both sides, a busy and dedicated teacher could reassure his students by addressing their concerns. Instead, it has now become a case of multiple concerns from multiple students who are being totally ignored by a man who fails to answer questions, tries to bury the evidence by trimming his talk page, and by doing so demonstrates a breathtaking contempt for his own students.
It is noticeable that on Conservapedia's Professor values page, following a long list of examples of teachers shunning their duties and responsibilities, the point is raised that "professors victimize students". On behalf of the student board, I hope that you, through your repeated neglect and contemptuous dismissal, do not intend to do the same.
We, the students, still await an ironclad response to our concerns.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) "Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners."
RexBanner 21:10, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
- Rex, I did respond to your issues and found them to be nitpicky, as I said. Beyond that, I do not find your additional comments to merit a response. If you have a specific concern about my feedback on your work, then please confine your talk to that on this page. A student should not try to run a course. Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 21:16, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
- Dear Mr Schlafly,
- Thankyou for your response. You are correct that a student should not try to run a course. A course should be run by a competent and professional teacher. By awarding full marks to incorrect answers, neither competence nor professionalism is demonstrated.
- You are of course perfectly free to call my concerns "nitpicky", but they stand regardless of what you call them. When you award full marks for claiming that Charles Martel was the grandson of Charlemagne, it is not "nitpicky" but frankly wrong. "Nitpicky" implies that I am fussing over the peripheral details of an otherwise correct answer. But when the answer is as badly wrong as that - and you give it full marks - it is not nitpicking. It is pointing out that you have failed to grade homework correctly. This issue of Charlemagen's ancestry is merely one example. The other thirteen concerns - which you apparently couldn't be bothered to even acknowledge - remain.
- Equally, you are perfectly at liberty to consider these concerns unworthy of a response. However, this raises two points. The first is that you, as the teacher of a course, have a responsibility to answer questions from concerned students. By neglecting to do this, you are being unprofessional. Secondly, if you had actually said that you couldn't be bothered to answer the concerns, that would at least have been an acknowledgement that they exist. Instead, you gave no indication that you had actually read the concerns in question. By deliberately ignoring them you showed a contemptuous attitude towards your students. And as you can see from the contributions of others on this issue, I am by far not the only person who is concerned at your increasingly dismissive attitude towards the very people whose minds you are meant to be opening.
- Sadly, this brings us right back to where we started - why are you granting grades of 100% to wrong answers?
- RexBanner 21:39, 18 October 2011 (EDT)