Lowest grade, median, highest grade

A person begins to write in a blank notebook on a table with their iPad and headphones.

Should we be knowing other people's grades?

I've recently been obsessed with one of the features of MyUni. In the grades tab, you can see how you measure up against the rest of the class. You can see the median, the lowest grade, and the highest grade. Recently, I received a grade that I was completely ecstatic to get, with feedback that made me feel validated in my academic study. But then I checked the rest of the grades, and I realised that someone had gotten one more mark than me.

You would think that this shouldn't affect me, since I objectively got a good grade. However, there is something evil in the comparison that this tiny little data breeds. I was left feeling disappointed, and decided to abandon the logical thought process (I did well even though someone else got an even higher grade!), for a hyperbolic tantrum (I'm not smart like the rest of the class!). 

Reflecting on it now, it feels stupid to have been worried about such a thing. But since my class is quite protective about revealing their grades to each other (for this very reason), it sucked that MyUni could so freely share this information with us. It made me think about, should we know other people's grades? Does that help us? Or does it just make us feel that we will never be good enough? 

I can see the value in this for some people. Some students may chase the thrill of the competition, and though I don't personally agree that we should be competitive about grades, I see how this could motivate people to push themselves harder. But I had pushed myself so hard for this essay (and it showed!), but now I am just doubting myself. 

Perhaps though, we need to have less stigma around the numeric value of grades. In an ideal world, I should be equally happy about my grade and the fact that someone else thrived. But like all ideal worlds, this will never truly exist. I am not entirely sure if there is a solution, but while we figure it out, I might avoid the grade tab on MyUni next time I get a grade. 

Tagged in What messes with your head