After the switch to online classes, Baylor announced its pass/fail option to students. While the switch has helped students, it can make many feel like they didn’t earn their GPAs by taking the pass.
Accepting a pass instead of a letter grade does not mean that a student hasn’t succeeded. Whether or not grades have been sustained at the same level since before the shift to online classes is not a correct measurement of a student’s ability to learn the information.
Each student has had their own experiences with online classes. Some classes have gotten easier with assignments due at the end of the week, while other classes have gotten much harder.
While one student might not mind the lockdown browser app and webcam on tests, other students find it debilitating having the camera watch them closely and flag their test if they make any suspicious movements.
Instead of creating a stigma around whether the pass/fail option is cop out of doing work, it should be seen as an understanding that we’re all going through stressful times right now.
Around the world, people are losing their jobs, being deemed unessential or has started getting more annoyed with the people they have spent quarantine with. Everyone has had their own circumstance and their own way of reacting to how the world has changed.
If some students don’t take the pass/fail option and continue to succeed, that’s great for them but it does not mean that the person who did opt in is a worse student than the other.
Students looking toward graduate degrees shouldn’t be affected by this either. When admissions in graduate and college programs occur post-pandemic, they should not value someone who did well during COVID-19 over someone who took a pass.
They should instead look at and evaluate how they did in the previous semesters and coming back from online classes as a measurement of whether or not the student will succeed.
By focusing on whether or not to take a pass instead of a letter grade, students are spending less time actually learning or spending time with their families over an issue that should be allow grace.
The pass/fail option is available to help many students who have had a hard time adjusting. Life has already taken a lot of hits; students don’t have to take one to their GPA as well.