Similar but Different: Conversations with Students

April 28th, 2020

Hi [African American Male Athlete Student],

I just wanted to check in again and see how things are going. Our final round of assessments is now available, and I want to let you know that I'm still able to look over course work or jump on zoom to explain a concept. Just let me know if you need anything.

-Your Professor


Its been a mess these past few weeks trying to get my assignments done I'm just looking to pass the class are you able to get on zoom?


Hi [African American Male Athlete Student],

I just want to document our conversation so that we both have a record of it in case you miss the email from the registrar or anything unexpected happens.

To summarize: Based on your efforts in the course so far, you have done enough work and shown enough knowledge to earn a passing grade without needing to complete any additional work. I will enter 'D' as your final grade. You should receive an email from the registrar regarding how to convert this letter grade to a 'Pass' so that it does not bring down your GPA. If anything unexpected happens, please contact me and we will work it out.

Have a good summer!

-Dr. Professor



April 29th, 2020

Dr. Professor,

Was reaching out to see where I am right now as far as pass/fail. Wanted to know if I was good, or needed to re-assess some more. I can join the zoom meeting at 1:00pm if it's easier to explain over video. Sorry, I've just been crazy with online classes and online internships, so just trying to figure out what's best for me.

- White Male Student


Hi White Male Student,

You really need to complete at least some of the summative assessments from the current unit to earn a pass. If you can, jump onto my office hours at 1:30 today and we can talk about it.

-Dr. Professor


May 1, 2020

Thought to self: White Male Student and Male African American Student had actually completed about the same amount of material, and had similar grades. Why did I let one off with a pass and ask the other to keep working?