GUSA Roundup: Post grades on Blackboard, end blissful ignorance

gusaThis Sunday, GUSA convened amid the revelries of the Feast of Saint Patrick and passed a resolution requesting Georgetown professors post the results of all graded assignments on Blackboard.

A bill to outlaw luddism among professors
Sen. George Spyropoulos (SFS ’14) bravely introduced “A Resolution to Require the Use of Blackboard Gradebook by All Instructors.” The bill asks the administration to require all instructors to post online students’ grades on all assignments and tests. The bill acknowledges that the “Gradebook” function of Blackboard is underused compared to the “Discussion Board” and “Course Documents.”

Sen. Patrick Spagnuolo (SFS ’14) asked, “Of the five of my professors, three don’t use Blackboard, two of whom do not have Blackboard accounts. I would like someone to explain the ability of this to succeed.” It should be noted that Spagnuolo is a history major.

Spyropoulos responded by saying that the bill aims at getting professors just to look at Blackboard. “This bill if anything is intended to start a conversation on Blackboard and its use by professors,” he said. “If professors report students’ grades through Blackboard, maybe they could use it for something more.”

The Senate as a whole expressed much support for the proposed legislation.

“Even if this results in just 15 professors grading through Blackboard, it’s an improvement,” Sen. Abby Cooner (COL ’16) said.

“Professors are required to give us grades and syllabi. This is just one more thing they would be required to do,” said Sen. Ben Weiss (COL ’15).

The bill recognizes that students often are not aware of their performance in the course and the distributing grades during class time is usually impractical.

Acting Speaker Zach Singer (SFS ’15) concluded, “This is an ambitious bill. It is a great example of why we made the Intellectual Life Committee. If the GUSA Senate continues to work with organizations such as the Academic Council, we could do a lot of good.”

The bill passed unanimously, with Sen. Cannon Warren (SFS ’14) expressing his consent with a “Sure, why not.”

In other GUSA news, the Senate said goodbye to senators joining the Nate and Adam executive—Singer, Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (SFS ’14), Nolan Diconti (COL 15), and Chandini Jha (COL ’16)—which means more GUSA elections to fill empty seats! Happy Monday Georgetown.

2 Comments on “GUSA Roundup: Post grades on Blackboard, end blissful ignorance

  1. Does GUSA have the power to make professors use Blackboard? Or make professors do anything? Or make anybody do anything except chuckle the same way you do when you watch a small child pretend to drive a car?

  2. Technically, the GUSA Senate cannot enforce the measure. That is why the bill aims to appeal to the administration and lobby for implementation. This has happened before– with the extension of access hours in residence halls a few months back. GUSA passed a bill, the administration discussed it, and cut us a deal- if we could get 300 votes on ideascale, they would make it happen. We did, and the dorm access policy was duly changed. As a matter of fact, we hear that the faculty organization is already discussing the Blackboard bill and hopefully we’ll see the measure being implemented by the beginning of the fall semester or even sooner.

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