I teach a sophomore level course at a public university and recently asked two questions on an informal evaluation of the course: How concerned are you with getting all of the points you deserve on every assignment? and How concerned are you with getting more points than others who did less work on every assignment? Students responded with a number on a 7-point scale such that 1 = not at all and 7 = highest priority. I thought the responses to the two questions would be highly correlated and that I could use this information to point out that giving unearned points to one student is unfair to the rest of the class. However, there was almost no correlation between the responses (r=.08), the mean response for the first question was very high (5.8), and the average for the second question very low (2.1). The question: is it possible to make sure every student gets all the points they deserve without also making sure they get more points than students who did less?
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