Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Edison Community College, Fort Myers, Florida, has experienced difficulty in the area of grade, inflation, comparable to other institutions. institutional and academic division policy changes on grading have resulted in changes in grading practices. One purpose of this project was to examine these changes and historic trends in grade inflation with multi-sectioned courses of the Division of Basic Science and Mathematics for academic year 1979-1980 through academic year 1989-1990. The other purpose of this project was to develop a plan to alleviate grade inflation in multi-sectioned courses. Accomplishment of this purpose required a determination of the impact of policy changes on grading practices, an analysis of whether or not grades conformed with the college definition of average, and determination of the extent to which grading practices in multi-section courses differed. The research methodology utilized in this study was historical and quantitative. Generally the division experience are declining Groene average throughout the study period. However, the mean grade point average remained above the nationwide values. During the period study nearly forty thousand students enrolled. Out of this forty thousand, 21.0 percent withdrew. Completing students had a great point average of 2.85, the most frequently occurring grade was a B. Institutional policy changes, In particular the abandonment of “none– punitive” A through D scale, and the adoption of a traditional through F scale, lowered averages to a more reasonable level. This scale apparently encourage more rigorous, grading practices faculty members. However, grade point averages remained well above nationwide averages. Faculty grading practices in multi-section courses appear to differ significantly. Apparently, extremes in faculty grading practices do exist as indicated by studies of high and low grade sections within each course. This suggests that enrolling students may phase grading outcomes in consistent with their efforts. Improvement of grading practices should begin with a restructuring of the grade distribution report. Currently, this report is arranged to report grade distribution on individual sections and does not address aggregate course grade point average. As such, this instrument is less than satisfactory for analyzing grading practices. The report should be modified to display aggregate averages for each course and section. At the end of each semester, grade point averages and grade distribution should be posted in the division office. This will ensure that each faculty member is aware of the results of his or her grading protocols. Semi- public posting of grades may also interject peer review aid help alleviate extreme grading practices. The establishment of a faculty committee on grading within the division is also recommended. The purpose of this committee would be to act in an advisory capacity to the dean on appropriate grading guidelines. Particular attention should be placed upon informing adjunct and new full-time faculty members of grading guidelines. In addition, grading guidelines should be publicly discussed at division meetings. Overall, the spirit of implementation of this program should remain non-invasive. Assessment of this program should be done utilizing historical records of the division and results from grades awarded after implementation. Ideally, guidelines should be published and introduced during faculty duty days prior to the beginning of the tall semester. Meetings with faculty members normally scheduled at this time should be utilized to introduce the program. After the completion of the academic year, data should be collected and compared to similar material from previous year. Should the program appear to be functioning smoothly, no further action would be required with the exception of those required to keep the program operating. In the case that further intervention become necessary, they should be accomplished through the faculty committee on grading and take the form of further guidelines.

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