Grading Equity



This chapter documents disparities in grading practices among disciplines by examining average differences in the grades received by the same students in different fields. Natural science, mathematics, and economics courses are found to be the most stringently graded disciplines; humanities courses are the most leniently graded.

Effects of these grading disparities on student assessment are severe. For many Duke students, the grading policies used by their instructors were nearly as important in determining their GPA and class rank as was their academic performance.

Two methods of adjusting grades to account for these differences are illustrated.


Pairwise Difference Academic Major Grade Index Special Talent Adjusted Grade 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2003

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