Why Attend Class? A Dilemma

Academic Leader

A colleague of ours sent us an interesting article titled “Where ‘A’ is Ordinary: The Evolution of American College and University Grading, 1940–2009.” The authors (S. Rojstaczer and C. Healy) surveyed historical data from 200 four-year colleges and universities and contemporary data from 135. They found that the most common grade at four-year colleges and universities is an A (43 percent of all grades), and that Ds and Fs are few and far between. These findings call for more in-depth analyses of why A’s have proliferated. The article also sparked the idea for a study asking the following question: If students do not have to physically attend a class in order to receive a passing grade in it, would they attend?

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