A recent editorial on "The Marking System" which appeared in the Yale News contained the following expression of opinion:
"One of the chief reasons for carelessness and loss of interest in college work, is the policy of many of the professors in not giving out term and examination marks. It is not surprising that the inability to find out anything about one's stand, finally leads to indifference - not that we would imply that marks should ever be the chief ends of study, but still they are naturally regarded as the only authoritative records of the success of such study."
We believe that this statement comes very near to hitting the nail on the head. While it is not true in most of the courses at Harvard that a student finds much difficulty in learning his standing, provided he is truly earnest in his desire to do so, yet it is a fact that unless a man is doing very poorly he will not in the natural order of things hear anything at all from the men who have charge of his courses. Would it not conduce to more conscientious work on the part of a student, would not his interest be heightened if his instructors made it a point occasionally to tell him what they thought of his work, whether it were good, poor or indifferent? They need not necessarily talk to him of his work in terms of A's or B's, C's, D's or E's. But they could do something to let him know that he is not simply passing in his work to a sort of unfeeling machine which, having put the proper stamp on his work, has no more concern with it.
There are some instructors who already take pains to talk with their men about their work. We believe it would be well if there were many more.