ERIC Number: ED203789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Affective Meanings of College Grades in Relation to Academic Self-Esteem and Two Context Factors.
Eiszler, Charles; Stancato, Frank
Four student-rated qualities of affective meaning associated with getting a grade of "C" in selected college courses were analyzed for their relation to student academic self-esteem and their sensitivity to two course-related context factors: course content and its intended audience. A total of 106 students in two sections of an introductory psychology class were the subjects. The typical subject was a second-semester freshman with a B average, and a broad range of academic interests was represented. Semantic differential scales were used as an instrument type. Affective meaning indexing the amount of positive feeling associated with the grade, the extent of ownership of the grade, the importance of the grade, and effort required by the grade were related to generalized expectations for success in college courses. In addition, context factors were found to influence the importance and effort dimensions directly. It is concluded that students and instructors have discrepant views of the value and meaning of various grades, and that such discrepancies create potentially serious opportunities for miscommunication between instructor and student. Further research is suggested in two areas: (1) what are the continuities and discontinuities in instructor-student perceptions of various specific grades? and (2) what actions, instructions, or activities by instructors and students can eliminate such discontinuities? Tables and charts of survey results and a list of references are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 1981). For related document see HE 014 058.