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ERIC Number: ED160657
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship of Undergraduate Course Grades with Student Ability Levels, Programs of Study, and Longitudinal Trends: A Multivariate Analysis.
Prather, James E.; And Others
The prevalence of grade inflation was analyzed from over 125,000 final grades, representing 144 undergraduate courses and 9,338 students. Grade inflation was defined as a systematic increase in grades for the same course over a five year period, statistically controlling the student's major and academic and demographic background. There was no general, systematic increase in average grades on a course-by-course basis when controlling student ability levels and major. The relatively few courses that showed a systematic longitudinal increase often remained the most stringent in the curricula even after taking grade inflation into account. A few courses exhibited grade deflation but these were almost all leniently-grading courses. Both the most stringent and the most lenient-grading courses showed a trend of regressing toward the mean. Quantitative type courses tend to have stringent grading standards. Apparently, grades are influenced by the associated discipline and the values assigned to grades by the discipline. The course-by-course analyses showed a complex interaction of faculty, students, and curriculum with course grade. As a challenge to further research, the authors suggest that students choose courses and degree programs which have grading standards reflecting their abilities and interests. (Author/GDC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (62nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 27-31, l978); Tables may be marginally legible