Midterm grades expand to higher coursework


Andrew Atkins / The Kent Stater From left: Emily Risser, graduate secondary education student, Holden McCurdy, junior art education student, and Mikaela Smyk, freshman physical science student, study in the library on the 4th floor Oct 23, 2016.

Andrew Atkins

Kent State reorganized midterm grades to encompass more than freshman level courses this academic year.

Last year, midterm grades were available only for those with a freshman class standing. This year, professors must enter midterm grades for all 00,000, 10,000 and 20,000 level courses.

“The idea is to let students know early on how they’re doing,” said Melody Tankersley, senior associate provost.

Tankersley said the change happened after first-year students, entering college with enough credits to elevate their class standing, did not receive midterm grades.

Many of these students received credits through advanced placement and dual-enrollment courses, and weren’t getting the feedback other first-year students were.

Tyler Smith, a freshman business management major, said he enjoys the feedback.

“I think it’s helpful for people to see where they are (and) to see if they need to pick up the pace,” Smith said. “I don’t think there’s really a downside to seeing them. It will motivate me to try harder in class.”

Tankersley said she hopes it’s easier for professors as well.

“I think that in some ways it’s a little bit clearer on who to report on,” she said. “Before, it just depended on the student, not the class. In one class you might have 50 students, but only 20 need a midterm report.”

Sociology professor Timothy Owens said that he faced a different kind of challenge.

“Part of the problem is having enough data to have a reasonable midterm grade estimate,” Owens said.

The window of time for midterm grades to be entered has been extended as well — something Tankersley said she hopes will make the process easier for professors and students alike.

“Starting in Week 4, faculty can start giving that progress report,” she said. “When you give (the report) to students earlier, it gives them extra time to change their study behavior and gives them more time to finish the semester strong.”

Junior theatre studies major Eoin Rude said he appreciated midterm grades when he got them.

“It’s a helpful check in the middle, but I didn’t notice that they were gone,” Rude said. “I had midterm tests and got those grades back.”

Sophomore communication studies major Delaney Cordova said she also appreciates her midterm grades.

“To see my grade as a whole, I get to see if I need to really step up my game. It’s definitely amazing, so I don’t get to the end of the semester, when it’s too late to boost my grade, and it’s too late to do anything about it,” Cordova said.

Andrew Atkins is an administration reporter, contact him at [email protected].