ERIC Number: ED203790
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
The Affective Meanings of College Grades: Confirmation of a Multifactor Model.
Eiszler, Charles; Stancato, Frank
A study was undertaken to validate earlier research on the affective meanings of college grades to students, and to extend the generalizability of the findings by studying a more representative group. One hundred six students in two sections of an introductory psychology course comprised the sample. The average student was a second-semester sophomore with a B average, and a broad range of majors was represented. Students were asked to predict a grade in four hypothetical situations as a preliminary step, and then were administered nine different forms of a survey. The survey asked for descriptions of the students' feelings about receiving a C grade in each of two situations involving specifically identified and described courses, both major courses and general education courses. Responses were made from supplied adjective pairs. The results generally supported previous research done with a more homogeneous group regarding sex and college major. They also show that there are at least four relatively independent dimensions to the psychological meaning of specific grades: (1) whether the grade is good or bad; (2) whether the grade seems a likely or unlikely description of the work done; (3) how complicated or simple it is to understand the grade; and (4) how important or unimportant the grade is to the student. These qualities seem to be conceptually related to certain student characteristics, and to this extent, it is concluded that grades should be considered educationally meaningful. Further research is suggested into means for teachers to assure congruence between the intended and psychologically effective meaning of the grades. (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 Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Toledo, OH, October 1980). For related document see HE 014 057.