In the current university system in Canada, course instructors and teaching assistants usually find themselves balancing two expectations related to grading:
1) The students (rightfully) expect assignments and exams to have criteria that are clearly expressed and are actually attainable for most/all students. (Goal: Student Success)
2) The university administration expects the instructor to meet grade-average and grade-distribution requirements for their course. (Goal: Student Comparison/ Sorting)
Many of those involved in university grading have personally experienced the tensions that can arise when attempting to balance both of the above-mentioned expectations. This is particularly true in Arts and Humanities disciplines, where graded assessments are predominantly (or even exclusively) essay style. This seminar will familiarize participants with two grading models that emphasize each of these goals. As a group, seminar participants will outline a practical grading scheme that can be used in the department to ensure that both of these goals can be achieved.
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Bieber, Trevor J.
"Assessing for Student Success and a Target Class Average: Balancing two grade-related goals facing university instructors and teaching assistants,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol2/iss2/4