Grading Guidelines for MLS Courses

Grading Guidelines for MLS Courses

Students must have their programs of study approved by the MLS program Director.

Students may enroll in no more than 9 credit hours of electives in a single academic semester.

It is important that students and faculty share the same understanding about what grades mean in graduate courses. Students in the MLS program need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and failure to do so could result in dismissal from the program. Grades less than a B- indicate unsatisfactory performance, and any course with a final grade of less than B- will not count toward graduation. Grades in MLS courses are to be assigned and interpreted using the following guidelines:

A, Excellent performance at the graduate level
A-, Very good performance at the graduate level.
B+, Good or better than satisfactory performance at the graduate level
B, Satisfactory performance at the graduate level
B-, Not fully meeting the expectations for graduate work

Characteristics of Academic Excellence

The following table provides an overview of key characteristics and expectations upon which graduate work is to be evaluated. Students should strive to meet these standards in all of their assignments:

Organization and ArgumentCommunicates thinking and reasoning in an organized manner. Development of topic demonstrates effective processing of evidence and analysis.
SynthesisConcepts are integrated or synthesized in an original and innovative way.
Content and VocabularyTerms, concepts, and practices are explained fluently.
ResourcesCites sources and appropriate evidence in developing an argument; demonstrates careful research of topic; primarily relies on primary authorities and good secondary sources. Citation and paper format follow instructions.
Mechanics  No grammatical errors and excellent sentence structure and fluency.

Overview and topic developmentIntroduction expresses clear purpose and includes overview with relevant and clear background. Topic covered thoroughly with balanced treatment of perspectives.
RationaleLogical reasoning integrated with authoritative references on key points.
VocabularyFluent in vocabulary and pronunciation.
Visual aidsGraphics and visual aids clarify or support key ideas (some types of presentations may not require visual aids).
Speaking style  Excellent style (matching verbal and nonverbal style), good projection with inflection, and spontaneous speaking.
Interaction with audience  Able to handle questions from audience with ease.

Participation, Relevance, and ValueInitiates questions and comments. Comments are pertinent to the topic and add important facts and perspectives.
RhetoricGives evidence supporting assertions, argues logically, gives examples.
InclusionBuilds on and relates to points made by other contributors (summarizes, contrasts, brings points together). Accurately listens to and considers feedback from others.
ArticulationDemonstrates knowledge and accurate use of terms.
PreparationBe always prepare, has read assigned material and relates comments to it.
Originality/CreativityPresents novel views, a different perspective, original approaches.

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