A Graphical Expedition into a Statistics Gradebook

CHANCE27_2-57“I recently had to do the one thing that I dislike most about being a college professor: assign final grades. For me, giving out grades is definitely a necessary evil. I find it so frustrating that an entire semester of thinking, learning, exploring, and discussing comes down to assigning a letter or number to students. And yet, I know I must do this to keep my job.”
~ Peter Kaufman, EveryDay Sociology

We are now into the second semester of the academic year, but when I started thinking about writing this article, my thoughts were like Peter’s. I was going to have to get on with it and tally up the course scores. And so ended an enjoyable semester teaching multivariate methods to students from many departments across campus that I had come to know a little. I had to reduce these interactions into a single letter grade. So, what do scores really measure?

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