In the same Chronicle thread mentioned yesterday, a prof offers her/his advice for getting over the “Snowflake tried” problem.
Something else I have done: have an “effort”grade. This is a totally bogus grade that counts NOT AT ALL in the course average. It is there, on the syllabus, marked “effort”—-and all the children in Lake Woebegone are above averag so everyone (pretty much, if they show up breathing in class) gets an A or a B. This DOES NOT FACTOR into the course grade. I say, “This is our way of registering to each other what ,y perception of your effort was. But you are graded on your RESULTS” Oddly enough, this seems to make them happy. I first tried it as a sarcastic response to a particularly bad semester of plagiarisms and whiny whiny “but I tired so harrrrrrrrd, and all three of my grandmothers diiiiiiiiiiiiied, and then my cat got siiiiiiick”—so I instituted this. Very bizarre. but it does make it clear that, NO, you are not graded on how terrible your life is right now, or how well you whine, or how many times your parents come see me, or how harrrrrrrrrrrrrd you triiiied; but ON YOUR RESULTS.]
That’s an interesting idea.
But I can see students saying, “Well I got an A for effort. Why didn’t you factor that in?”