University professor implements unorthodox ‘self-grading’ method for students

College seniors looking to pad their GPA with an A+ in their last year should be crashing the internet trying to sign up for this University of Georgia professor’s class.

The professor, Dr. George Watson, has implemented an unorthodox “stress reduction policy” that essentially renders class chill time, according to Campus Reform. He crafted the policy knowing that “emotional reactions to stressful situations can have profound consequences for all involved.” One review of the testing policy shows you have to put effort into not getting a good grade:

  • All tests and exams will be open book and open notes, including the use of material on your laptop.
  • All tests and exams will be designed to be completed in half the allotted time by the majority of students.
  • All tests and exams will be designed to assess low-level mastery of the course material.

Compared with the rest of the guidelines, Watson’s testing policy is harsh. Students essentially choose their own grades:

  • If you feel unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable material or the overall course, you can email the instructor indicating what grade you think is appropriate, and it will be so changed. No explanation is required, but it is requested you consider waiting 24 hours before emailing the professor.

And don’t expect any infringement of personal bubbles to occur in Watson’s class:

  • If in a group meeting you feel stressed by your group’s dynamics, you should leave the meeting immediately and need offer no explanation to the group members. Furthermore, you can request to discontinue all group work and your grade will be based totally off non-group work.

Every presentation is to be perfect, as well, or at least treated as such.

  • Only positive comments about presentations will be given in class. Comments designed to improve future presentations will be communicated by email

Dr. Watson does concede that his policy might “hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class” but says this “ultimately is your responsibility.”

The University of Georgia should increase enrollment projections for Watson’s “Data Management” and “Energy Informatics” classes.

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