ERIC Number: EJ1105857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Grades and Incentives: Assessing Competing Grade Point Average Measures and Postgraduate Outcomes
Bailey, Michael A.; Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.; Yoon, Albert H.
Studies in Higher Education, v41 n9 p1548-1562 2016
In many educational settings, students may have an incentive to take courses where high grades are easier to achieve, potentially corroding student learning, evaluation of student achievement, and the fairness and efficiency of post-graduation labor outcomes. A grading system that takes into account heterogeneity of teacher standards and student ability could mitigate these problems. Using unique data from a major Canadian research university, we calculate student grade point averages (GPAs) net of course difficulty and find evidence that raw GPAs systematically distort student achievement across majors. We then link undergraduate performance and law school data. We find that adjusted GPAs better predict Law School Admissions Test scores, while the raw GPAs better predict admission to law school and grades in law school. These results suggest nuanced relationship between grades, incentives and subsequent academic outcomes. We conclude by discussing implications of our results for university leaders.
Descriptors: Grades (Scholastic), Law Schools, Admission (School), Scores, College Entrance Examinations, Incentives, Undergraduate Students, Academic Achievement, Grade Point Average, Correlation, Outcomes of Education, Majors (Students), Research Universities, Foreign Countries, Standards, Efficiency, Labor Market, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Law School Admission Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A