ERIC Number: ED439646
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-18
Reference Count: N/A
University Grade Inflation through Twenty Years: An Analytical and Empirical Investigation. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Wood, Anda L.; Ridley, Dennis R.; Summerville, Richard M.
This paper presents a new method to test for grade inflation. Defining grade inflation as the decreasing value of grades in the coin of student achievement, the study avoids the assumption that a rise in mean grade is a necessary condition of grade inflation. The study, which was conducted at a single university, also sought to determine whether grade inflation could be demonstrated if mean grades have leveled off. To measure general academic abilities, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) data was used. Data was grouped into three time spans (1976-80, 1984-88, and 1992-96). To examine the influence of students' majors, data were also separated into two broad groups, "humanistic" and "scientific," because literature had shown roughly that the former revealed more grade inflation than the latter. Findings suggested grade inflation relative to GRE total and verbal scores, but no evidence of grade inflation when GRE quantitative or GRE analytical scores were used, and it is postulated that this is a result of declining academic standards in the sense that verbal reasoning ability associated with grade point average is lower than it used to be. Differences were also found between disciplines, with some evidence of grade inflation found for science majors. (Contains 17 references.) (RH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Research, Grade Inflation, Grade Point Average, Grades (Scholastic), Grading, Higher Education, Scores, Student Evaluation
Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA 23502-5599. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A