ERIC Number: ED281259
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
Ethics, Grades, and Grade Inflation: Student Evaluations as a Factor in Multi-Sectioned Courses.
Jensen, Marvin D.
Grade inflation is a serious problem in multisectioned speech communication courses, and one of its principal causes is a desire for positive student evaluations and high enrollments on the part of professors and economically insecure departments (who need the funding generated by high enrollments). Positive student evaluations have been found to correlate with high grades, and students have been shown to expect that they can influence their final grades by rating their instructors highly. Research indicates that most departments realize this, and are also aware that professors often aim for positive evaluations in order to get tenure, yet they often fail to intervene to curb grade inflation. Fair grading, however, is a teacher's moral and ethical responsibility, and administrations must take steps to ensure that faculty members do not contribute to grade inflation. Administrators evaluating instructors of multisectioned courses should: (1) have the instructor prepare a statement of grading criteria; (2) send the grading patterns of all other multi-sectioned courses to each instructor; (3) compare an instructor's grading pattern with student evaluations during decisions on tenure, salary, and promotion; and (4) separate at least some of the grading from instruction, for example, by having separate lecturers and graders for large courses. These steps should lead to ethical grading procedures, and benefit both students and teachers in the end. (SKC)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Administrator Role, Codes of Ethics, Course Evaluation, Faculty Evaluation, Grade Inflation, Grading, Higher Education, Large Group Instruction, Speech Communication, Speech Instruction, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Central States Speech Association and the Southern Speech Communication Association (St. Louis, MO, April 9-12, 1987).