Grading Grades: Systems for Evaluating Students
Tips Sheet 16
by Shula Ramsay, Psychology
Nov. 14, 1995
1. What the individual instructor defines as the university's goals often reflects
and effects grading. Know your philosophy of education & that of your educational
institution. Make your grading systems consistent with those philosophies.
2. There are three systems for setting grades: a) comparison with other students, b) comparison with established standards, & c) comparison based on leaming relative to improvement and ability.
3. There are multiple methods for assigning grades, such as weighting, distribution gap method, curve, percent grading, relative grading, and absolute standard grading.
4. Grading plans should be clearly communicated at the beginning of the semester. Tell students which topics/activities are more important than others. Grade accordingly! Know your biases & make them clear to students.
5. Set the standard for student accountability by being accountable for your grading system.
6. Any changes to a grading plan should be clearly explained in writing and with written acceptance of students, even changes favorable to students.
7. Give points for improvement and assign a grading scale so that points can be accumulated.
8. Group work for essay questions is valuable; have group members evaluate each other afterward.
9. When doing group projects, keep groups accountable for work. Group members may "fire" a non-contributing group member! (Set up a plan!) [CTL has a sample firing policy.]
For more information about this workshop, contact the CTL staff or any of the following individuals who attended: Mary Dillingham, Nick Nichols, Susan Johnstad, Dean May, & Charity Van Winkle.
The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching
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