The Pass/Fail Project

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What the hell is our problem?!?!

It can't be apathy. Any true apathetics in this class would flock to this banner as the bright shining light of the future. This lack of participation can only be emblematic of half-assed apathy, which is the most pathetic kind.

--Kwan Bul 21:26, 25 September 2006 (EDT)

Not to be overly law school but it seems like a collective action problem to me. Everyone (assuming for the moment that most people do actually support the pass/fail option) who wants the option doesn't have the motivation to actually take the action to implement it. Perhaps what we need to do is just take the proposal that we have and put it to a vote of the students?

--Kevin Parker 11:03, 27 September 2006 (EDT)

Project Pages

  • Proposal -- View, edit, and contribute to the development of our proposal
  • Petition -- Add your name to the list of supporters using the signature/timestamp function
  • Concerns -- Voice your concerns or objections to the proposal
  • Updates -- Review our progress and learn more about getting involved in the project
  • Grading -- How should those receiving letter grades be evaluated?

Organizational Meeting

We have a meeting with the Dean on Tuesday, September 26, at 9:45 am to discuss the feasibility of this project. Three students can attend. The proposal needs to be in good shape by then, so please read and edit it as you see fit.

Update: the meeting with the Dean has been canceled because of the concern that the project lacks support among class members. Only a handful have contributed to this project. A meeting with the Dean could be rescheduled if there is sufficient interest-- so mobilize support if you are interested!

Notes on the last meeting here.


General Discussion

Sign me up! --Kwan Bul 15:12, 12 September 2006 (EDT)

  • Count me in--Josh Nevas
  • Ditto...the Negotiation Workshop was successful in its pursuit of the pass/fail option, so maybe we can talk to someone who was involved in that effort to pick up some tips. I'll contact some friends who've been involved with PON and see if I can get any leads. Anyone else have any ideas? --Brianna MacDonald 11:18, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Me too - Jordan Bleicher
  • I think it's a good idea. I went to Brown University for undergrad (a long time ago!), and there, you have an option of taking every class P/F. It encourages people to try subjects and courses that may not be their strengths, and that they might not otherwise take. For example, I'm not great at languages, but I took four semesters of Spanish P/F that I might not have taken otherwise. It was also an option with classes that were new, or experimental. The idea was that students might be more inclined to try out something new but unpredictable if they knew they wouldn't be graded. Now, this doesn't fit exactly into our model, since at this point add/drop has passed and we're locked in, but I think this class is in that spirit. As a 3L who isn't applying for a clerkship (or any legal job for that matter), I don't particularly care about my grades, but I think this seems like the right class for HLS to back off on the grading a little and try something different. What's the harm? --Art Samuels
  • I think the Negotiation Workshop is the perfect model to follow. I count that as my most enjoyable and most useful Harvard class, precisely because it was pass/fail. I was able to let go of the desire to please the professor by having the "right answer," and instead focused on learning for its own sake. This class can have the same feel, I think. There are a lot of fun things to explore, but it'll be spoiled by treating it as a graded task. --Kgarrett 23:03, 15 September 2006 (EDT)--
  • Alas, my negotiation friends didn't have any insights (apparently the change was made before their time). Anyone have an 'in' with Mnookin, Bordone, or someone else who would have been involved?--68.83.215.137 23:32, 16 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Okay, I'm new at this, but hopefully my message will come across loud and clear...I discovered this page, and I feel compelled to contribute. I'm in favor of P/F, and I second Art's reasoning. I enrolled in this class to learn something new, and, as I explore the cyber world, it would be much less stressful to do so w/out worrying about grades. I have Bob Bordone for a seminar, and I'm meeting with him this Wed., so I'll ask him for details about the Negotiation Workshop grading system. - Alison Healey
  • I'm thinking that it would be good to have a "devil's advocate" to generate as many counterarguments as possible (keeping up the Necker Cube theme) and that we might want to make some arguments that are independent of the Negotiation Workshop's line of reasoning. As a natural contrarian who has never had Negotiation, I'd be happy to work in both capacities. Would people be willing to meet for like ten minutes after Monday's class, so we can know who we're working with and maybe divvy up some tasks? --Josh
  • Judging by the structure of the class that we have discussed so far, and the assignments that come along with the course, it seems that P/F is really the only way to do this. How can you grade creativity expressed in a cyber medium? -- John Lobato

I agree with Josh that we should meet after class today, so hopefully others can meet too and we can get things rolling. --Brianna MacDonald 13:31, 18 September 2006 (EDT)


Pass fail sounds fine to me. It makes sense if this is a truly collaborative effort, which I am looking forward to. --Marty 22:45, 18 September 2006 (EDT)