What is Grade Inflation?

When the grade point average does not reflect the overall student’s ability in a course. 


Examples of Grade Inflation

Awarding all students 100s for an assignment regardless of the requirements were met. 

Giving students a better grade due to liking the student more than other students.

Giving a student an A so that the student will no longer ask the faculty member questions. 

Reasons Against Engaging in Grade Inflation

Not able to determine if students are understanding the content.

Work ethic called into question by supervisors and colleagues. 

Not fulfilling basic job duties as a faculty member. 

Students who are putting in effort for the course are not receiving any feedback or support in return. 

Best Practices Regarding Grade Inflation

Rubrics can be used to make sure all students are graded fairly and accurately. Rubrics can be shown to demonstrate fair and accurate grading if this is ever called into question.

Provide personalized feedback to each student. By providing personalized feedback to each student, the faculty member is able to demonstrate that they are taking the time to make sure each student is graded fairly with a chance to improve on the next assignment. 

By tracking how students are doing in a course based on assignments and quizzes, a faculty member can make interventions and support students who may not be showing progress.

Provide personalized feedback to each student. By providing personalized feedback to each student, the faculty member is able to demonstrate that they are taking the time to make sure each student is graded fairly with a chance to improve on the next assignment. 

Review

  • Grade Inflation is when students are given grades that are not based on their own merit, knowledge, or work.
  • Grade Inflation is a practice that institutions are experiencing throughout the world.
  • This behavior can be done intentionally or unintentionally. 
  • Grade Inflation negatively impacts the student and the faculty member who engages in this behavior.
  • By engaging in best practices such as using rubrics, providing personalized feedback, tracking student progress, and conducting reviews based on missed material, faculty members can avoid Grade Inflation.

MISSION

The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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