Grading policies affect students in a variety of ways, most obviously in the realm of student assessment. However, the most serious influence that instructor grading practices exert on students may well be their effect on student course selection decisions.
Using records of the course mean grades that students examined during the DUET experiment in conjunction with records of the courses for which they later registered, this chapter examines the influence that grading practices have on student enrollments. The conclusion of this investigation is that the influence is substantial. For courses taken as electives, students who participated in the DUET experiment were twice as likely to choose courses graded at an A- average as they were courses graded at a B average. This conclusion applies to courses chosen from within all academic divisions and likely results in a 50% decrease in the number of elective courses taken by undergraduates in the natural sciences and mathematics.
KeywordsNatural Science Response Category Selection Decision Quantitative Reasoning Distributional Requirement
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