Obviously you are going to be concerned about your student’s grades. Most universities have a campus-wide system for reporting grades. Access to this system requires a password. Many universities will ask their students to change their passwords on a regular basis.
You can get access to your student’s grades via the campus grade reporting system should your student give you the password. But if you have this access, you still might not have a good sense of the grade your student has in a class.
The final grade in a class is based on a number of grade elements, each with different weightings. These grade elements and weightings are spelled out in the course syllabus. You’ll need the syllabus to be able to determine the grade.
Here’s a strategy for monitoring your student’s grades:
1. When you talk with your student, ask specific questions about grades in each class. Go through each class and ask about any grades in that class. It helps if you have a copy of the syllabus so you’ll know the grade elements to ask about.
2. Should the test grades in any class be of a concern, ask your student to do a current grade calculation that incorporates all grade elements. Often these other grade elements will raise the final grade. Your student should be able to do this.
3. Ask how your student’s grades compare to other grades in the class. Most teachers will give class averages for tests so your student should be able to give you a relative sense of how he/she did.
There’s a common misconception that a student’s advisor knows all the grades students have in their classes. The only person who know all of the students grades are the student. This leads to the next recommendation:
4. Ask your student to prepare a spread sheet that records every grade earned. The spread sheet can then be used to project a final grade. For students who have an Apple product, they can use the Grades2 App to record their grades and project final grades.
If you follow the advice given here, you might also want to read the topic: Reacting to Your Student’s Grades. How you react to the grade report can influence the grade information you get in the future..