Grade inflation is a problem at universities in the United States. To understand the cultural effect of grade inflation at a regionally accredited online university in the United States, I conducted autoethnographic research as a participant and observer. In this autoethnographic study, the purpose of my research was to explore my experiences being immersed in a grade inflation culture. I addressed a gap of autoethnographic research related to a culture of grade inflation existing at an online university in the United States. I provided seven themes serving as my discoveries related to my observations and participation as a faculty member. My discoveries supported my assumptions that a culture of grade inflation likely exists at the online university. My discoveries also contribute to the overriding theme in the extant literature that grade inflation exists. My discoveries also support the concept that grade inflation is not limited to on ground universities but also extends to online universities in the United States.


Autoethnography, Grade Inflation, Online University, Participant Observer

Author Bio(s)

David A. Blum, DBA is an instructor working for U.S. based online universities. Dr. Blum earned a Doctor of Business Administration from Walden University, an MBA from Marylhurst University, and BA from Bellarmine University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: davidblum2010@gmail.com.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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