ERIC Number: ED198559
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
What Does Grading Mean, Anyway?
Presley, John C.
Most English teachers probably find it difficult to develop a grading system that takes into account the problems of individual students and that effectively communicates to students the quality of their work. Educators have been experimenting with written grading systems since the first system, one of predetermined adjectives, was used at Yale University in 1785. Almost 100 years later, Harvard University began using letter grades, but after only two years changed to a pass/fail system. The problems of lack of agreement in grading, student competition, and students choosing courses offering easy high marks were just as common a century ago as they are today. Research in the area of grading has been surprisingly neglected, and what little that has been done suggests that grading systems have not improved much in the last 100 years. Students still regard grades in terms of reward and punishment. A system of only marking papers with written comments and meeting with students for a grade conference to discuss "why" they think a certain grade is appropriate for their work can translate grades into useful information about the student's work. Active participation in the grading process can substantially reduce student dissatisfaction with the grading system. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Conference on English in the Two-Year College (16th, Biloxi, MS, February 19-21, 1981).