ERIC Number: ED448403
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Grading with Norm-Referenced or Criterion-Referenced Measurement: To Curve or Not To Curve, That Is the Question.
Aviles, Christopher B.
Assigning grades is an integral part of social work education. However, social work educators must decide whether to use norm-referenced or criterion-referenced measurements to grade exams and other assignments. This paper presents arguments for grading with both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measurements. The benefits of criterion-referenced measurement as a choice for one professor's classes in social work education are reviewed. One criticism of this measure questions whether grades are devalued when many others attain the same achievement. The conclusion is made that it is not possible to examine professors' grade spreads in order to learn anything about their instructional decisions, techniques, and testing that generated these grades. New professors should not be examined based on the highs and lows of their exams as an indication of the standards in their classes. But, by using criterion-referenced measurements, instructors can compare student achievement to their chosen standard instead of to the achievement of other students. (JDM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A