The Chronicle of Higher Education published an interesting article on November 9 about a class that received a full refund and grades of “A” at The George Washington University School of Medicine. The reason: the instructor was a no-show.
But it was a great blog post at eCollege that drew my attention to the rather curious nature of this case. The instructor taught a series of three one-credit courses. The first was to be in-person, and the second and third were to be taught online.
She appeared in person for the first course, a face-to-face class.
But the instructor never appeared for the online courses.
Nevertheless, she gave the students grades of “A”.
Students eventually did complain about the no-shows, and officials with the university have agreed to issue refunds, yet allow students to retain the class and grade in their transcripts as though completed.
It raises a question of academic accountability and oversight. In a university setting, where students and instructors gather physically in a single area, oversight is a bit more easy to maintain than in the online world.
Is this a sign of things to come? Or perhaps a bit of insight into an existing problem? Or is this an anomaly?
What if the instructor had failed to show to a face-to-face class? Would students be given transcripts showing completed coursework and grades of “A”?
Or would the problem have been identified and resolved immediately – on Day One?
How many students are being granted grades and transcripts showing completed classes they never actually took?
Time will tell.