ERIC Number: ED200293
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
De-Grading Developmental Studies.
Erickson, Michael E.
If developmental studies programs are to successfully enhance affective and cognitive development in a non-competitive, supportive setting, they must abandon traditional A to F grading in favor of a descriptive, personalized feedback system that helps the student make intelligent decisions concerning his/her academic future. Indeed, research demonstrates that traditional grading is grossly inappropriate to developmental instruction for a variety of reasons: normative grading merely ranks learners from best to worst and thus precludes individualized learning assistance; grades are not indicative of learning acquisition and thus do not adequately inform the student of his/her progress; grades are not predictive of future success; poor grades, rather than motivating students toward better performance, reinforce a sense of failure; and, finally, grades foster a "Watergate" mentality which sanctions cheating in order to survive the grading game. As a more appropriate alternative, feedback concerning student progress should be effected through instructor/student conferences and through written, descriptive evaluations. If a letter grade is necessary for institutional reporting, it should merely denote completed student contact hours. Such an evaluation approach, which is commonly used at the graduate level, is in total accordance with the non-traditional, innovative nature of developmental learning. (JP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Monroe Community Coll., Rochester, NY.