ERIC Number: ED189997
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Introduction of a New Grading System at a Public Teaching Institution: Impact on Grading Tendencies of the Faculty.
Felder, Nathaniel L.
The grading system at the University of North Carolina at Asheville before fall 1978 provided four designations: H (honors); G (good or well above average); P (pass or satisfactory); and F (failure). This range does not provide a grade for unsatisfactory but passing work. It was suspected that this led teachers to give "average" grades for marginal work. In fall 1978 the traditional grading system (A, B, C, D, F) was instituted; this study was undertaken to assess the impact on overall grading practices of the introduction of the D grade option. Grade distributions for four fall terms (1966, 1977, 1978, and 1979) were analyzed. The percentages of passing (P or C) grades and failing (F) grades were computed and compared before and after the introduction of the D option. The grading trend was further analyzed by computing the change in percentage of excellent (H or A) and above-average (G or B) grades over time. The addition of the D option does appear to have given faculty more flexibility in grading marginal students; 5.5 percent of the grades awarded were D's. It was also confirmed that a pattern of grade inflation has existed since 1966, with the proportion of A grades increasing substantially. Seven possible causes of grade inflation are identified, including student and faculty expectations and administrative practices. A list of references is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of North Carolina Asheville