A professor at Columbia University is calling on her fellow professors to give their students an “automatic A” for the spring 2020 semester due to the Wuhan coronavirus. According to professor Jenny Davidson, “it’s time to abandon our preconceived ideas about what needs to happen in a college class for a student to get credit for it.”
The professor made her case in an op-ed for the Washington Post, entitled, “Forget distance learning. Just give every college student an automatic A.”
“At the very least, the coronavirus means universities should switch to pass-fail and pass everyone,” wrote Davidson, adding that “it’s time to abandon our preconceived ideas about what needs to happen in a college class for a student to get credit for it.”
Davidson went on to claim that professors and students are just too “stressed,” adding that she hopes faculty and staff “won’t break under the huge additional workload entailed in moving courses online.”
“We’re now scrambling to transition everyone to remote learning on short notice,” said Davidson.
“We can also hope faculty and staff won’t break under the huge additional workload entailed in moving courses online that weren’t designed to be taught that way,” she added.
Additionally, to “ease stress on students,” the professor argues that colleges and universities should “strip down work expectations to the bare minimum,” and consider giving everyone A’s.
“Strip down work expectations to the bare minimum” wrote Davidson. “Introduce mandatory pass-fail at the very least — and consider giving enrolled students A grades as a default.”
“I wrote to both of my classes a week ago to say that I would give everyone an A based on the work they’d done already,” she added. “Regardless of what my university’s leadership ultimately decides about distance learning, I intend to do exactly that.”