We are so used to grading since our childhood that when we are in a competitive group we start grading. He is the topper; he is average and so on.
In school first benchers are graded as Smart, Intelligent, hardworking while last benchers are considered good for nothing types. Again the culture continues at work where we are graded as top Performer, meeting expectations or poor performer during appraisal. Grading is part of the system & it is an essential tool for quick decisions making.
My concern is should we endorse this grading culture further to a 1 year MBA program for experienced executives. All the students in this program are mature, career focussed, committed and have a true urge to learn new skills.
The average experience of the group is 8-10 years. People in this group have forsaken their family commitments, ditched well-paying jobs and a lot of other intangible assets to be on this course and acquire new skills.
I feel the grading system is a bane that is diluting the real value of this education. The fear of low grades and our natural tendency to compete for good grade is pushing the majority to study subjects for getting good grade rather than appreciate its true value and application.
Imagine what will happen when there is no grading?
- People will study only the subjects that align with their career goal and aspiration. They will spend more time understanding the subject of interest without fear of losing grade on another subject that does not align with their career goal.
- Companies will give equal opportunity to all candidates. Only those candidates who have really put effort to overcome their shortcomings and have evolved themselves for the new roles and responsibilities will get their dream job.
- People will not get stressed and enjoy the 1 year of learning.
I know many would argue against my opinion and say without exams people will not study. They will not learn and eventually the institutes brand name will get tranished.
For this argument, I would like to clarify I am not against exams and quizzes. They are a good way of evaluating our understanding. I am only against grading based on these exams. I disagree grading is essential to impart knowledge. Individuals enrolling in the 1 year course have huge stakes. They are here to learn and improvise their skills. So they will continue to do it even without a grading system.
Even if there are some outliers to the above theory, grading will not ensure they will turn into wise individuals. So what’s the point in having it!!
Disclaimer: Opinion expressed in this blog are my personal views and have no bearing on the institute.
-Rajgopal Iyengar, PGPEX-6
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