Presentation on theme: "Grades: Their Effects on Students as Measures of Achievement."— Presentation transcript:
Grades: Their Effects on Students as Measures of Achievement
Purposes of Grades To compare students to one another or to some standard (e.g., GPA of 2.0 to graduate). To provide feedback to students respecting their progress in the course. To motivate students to achieve a better performance.
A Simple Model: With Special Thanks To Milton, Eison, and Pollio Grades are supposed to measure what you know Any factor that influences grades other than what you know is a source of error The greater the total source of error the less useful grades are as a measure of knowledge or achievement.
Sources of Error: The Time Period Grade Inflation: A lowering of standards such that a performance is given a higher mark than it would have previously received. Grade Deflation: A raising of standards such that a performance is given a lower mark than it would have previously received. To determine if grade inflation or grade deflation is occurring you must consider: 1) the distribution of grades, and 2) the characteristics of students over two or more time periods.
Sources of Error: The Time Period Examples of grade inflation and grade deflation. Nationally is there grade inflation or grade deflation? What is happening nationally is not necessarily what is happening locally
Sources of Error: The University Universities employ very different grading standards. Often these standards are unknown (e.g., which is the best performance a GPA of 3.0 at Appalachian State or a GPA of 2.5 at Montana State?)
Sources of Error: The University Universities employ different grading practices and ways of computing grades. How late in the term can you drop a class without penalty? Variations in the use of the repeat rule.
Sources of Error: The College Data from the Appalachian State Factbook Which college gives the lowest grades? Which college gives the highest grades? Changes in Appalachian State grade distributions over the last decade.
Sources of Error: The College Appalachian State grade distributions a generation ago. Introducing the always entertaining but seldom surprising J. Daniel Duke. What did Duke find about college grade distributions at Appalachian State? Has much changed?
Sources of Error: The Major Do all majors in the college apply equally stringent grading standards? What did Duke find was the relationship between the average grade given and the average SAT scores of persons in the major? What was Duke’s conclusion respecting the “tracking” of students at ASU? Has much changed?
Sources of Error: The Instructor A study of instructor grading practices in General Psychology at ASU. Was high school GPA, SAT, ASU GPA, or the instructor the best predictor of General Psychology grades?
Strict Versus Lenient Grading Standards Johnson and Beck: Johnson taught Educational Psychology at ASU. Decided to change from being a strict to a lenient grader. We examined the effects of strict and lenient grading standards at various SAT levels
Strict Versus Lenient Grading Standards As expected, students with higher SATs achieved higher test scores. Most ASU professors predicted that students with relatively high SATs would obtain better test scores if they were graded on the strict scale. However, students with relatively low SAT scores were predicted to perform better if they were graded on the lenient than the strict scale. In general grading students on a strict scale produced higher test scores than grading students on a more lenient scale. The lenient grading scale had its most destructive impact on students with the lowest SAT scores.
Strict Versus Lenient Grading Standards Johnson received higher student evaluations when he used the lenient scale. When he was lenient 4% of the students indicated that they would not recommend his class to a friend. In contrast, 32% of the students reported that they would not recommend his course to a friend when Johnson was strict. More discussion happened in Johnson’s class when he was a lenient grader. Students thought that they learned more when Johnson was lenient that when he was strict.
Strict Versus Lenient Grading Standards: Summary Strict grading standards improve test scores, especially the test scores of students with relatively low SATs. Students graded on the lenient scale were more likely to be involved in classroom discussions, gave Johnson better student evaluations and felt that they learned more. A professor’s grading scale has a pronounced effect on the class.
Myers Grading Study A math professor failed all his students. As you might expect this produced a great controversy. Myers interviewed the professor who failed all his students and another professor who gave very high grades. Myers concluded that neither had any objective criteria for assigning grades. Grades were based on the professors’ subjective standards.