Students and Faculty Reflect on Lack of Midterm Comments

Following the release of the Midterm grades, many noticed a lack of comments. Students spoke on their reaction to the change, as well as whether they felt comments were necessary. 

Cleo Maglaras ’25 (she/her)

“I think the midterm [grades] are kind of redundant. It is good to know whether you are passing but having low pass and regular pass is something you can tell on your own, as you kind of know where you are in the class. So I think number grades or comments are more helpful.”

Arthur Wu ’25 (he/him)

“I would prefer having midterm comments because I feel like I would improve more based on the teacher’s feedback. I would prefer to have a comment, even if it’s negative, just so I could know where I need to improve. Therefore I would prefer having midterm comments or some sort of reflection of progress summary rather than leaving it blank.”

Jacob Kaiser ’24 (he/him)

“Teachers need to give us midterm comments, I don’t understand. It’s not that hard because a lot of teachers end up copying and pasting their comments anyway, and even with a few sentences personalized to each student it can go a long way in conveying to us what we need to work on.”

Anna Ohm ’24 (she/her)

“I understand that it’s a lot of work for teachers and that’s probably the reason why they don’t do it, at least that’s my understanding. However, I do find it very dissatisfactory because when I’m looking to get feedback, some of my teachers haven’t even posted grades at all, and so it’s really difficult because I don’t have any feedback then and it’s past midterms. Midterms would be a good spot for teachers to look holistically at how you’re doing in the class.”

Oliver Young ’26 (he/him)

“I think not getting an actual grade can be a little confusing but getting the comments can be pretty helpful, especially with class engagement and how they think you’re doing. I think in terms of the written feedback it’s pretty good but including an actual grade instead of pass or fail would be more helpful to see where you’re going in the class as some teachers have different grading scales.”

Paul Murphy, Instructor in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science (he/him)

“I think what we’re trying to do right now is trying to figure out what is valuable to students and parents and have to balance that against the amount of time it takes for an instructor to put together something thoughtful. I think there’s been a lot of conversation about that. From a different perspective, I get that parents want to see a little bit more about what’s going on and probably students do too. It does feel weird to me to have nothing versus just a little bit of something, I can imagine us getting to a place where we write very short ones but even that may be a little unsatisfying. We have to get better at this, Covid[-19] changed things and we have to figure out what makes sense moving forward.”