What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?
Assess your current grading practices to ensure they are grounded in fairness and objectivity. Learn about the checks and balances you can apply to your grading policies to ensure they conform to your ethical standards.
Five areas of your grading policy may require an “ethics check”
Ethical questions may not be top of mind when it comes to your grading policies, but you don’t have to dig deep to find them. Consider, for example: What are the consequences of being too easy a grader? Too hard a grader? Where might your grading approach be less than objective? Are you unknowingly letting bias seep in? Are grades truly reflecting what students know and are able to do? Are you measuring the right things or just what's convenient?
These and related issues are explored in the 20-Minute Mentor What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?, a thoughtful examination by Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D., editor of The Teaching Professor newsletter and a longtime college teacher.
In her eye-opening presentation, Dr. Weimer examines five specific areas where ethical issues should be a concern, including the:
- The appropriateness and fairness of your grading standards
- The objectivity of your grading
- The accuracy of your grading as a measure of student performance
- The impact of grading policies on student learning behavior
- The consequences of your grading for students’ major/career aspirations
You’ll find that, far from being a “given,” setting and adhering to practices that are ethical can be a significant challenge.
Let What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy? bring the issues into focus — and show you the steps you can take to ensure your grading policies are as grounded in fairness and objectivity as you intend them to be.
Product Code: PM15WA
Because grades follow a system of letters (or numbers), it’s easy to convince ourselves that they’re unassailably objective and fair.
But is our confidence misplaced? What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy? takes a hard look at some important questions related to grading. It shows that underneath their seemingly benign surface, grading policies can involve issues that might make us uncomfortable.
In this insightful presentation, Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D., considers grading standards, the validity of grades as measures of learning, the impact grades can have on our students’ aspirations, and more.
Dr. Weimer will challenge you with questions including:
- Are you contributing to grade inflation?
- Conversely, are your grading standards too high?
- Are low grades an indictment of your students’ lack of preparation — or your teaching?
- Can you be certain bias is not creeping into your grading?
- Are grades reflecting true student performance, or just what’s easily measurable?
- Are students pursuing knowledge — or just grade points?
- Are you “gatekeeping” students’ academic aspirations? Fairly or unfairly?
Throughout What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?, you’ll confront these questions and learn about the checks and balances you can apply to your grading policies to ensure they conform to your ethical standards.
By the end of the program, you’ll be able to:
- Assess your grading practices and policies for hidden bias
- Determine whether you are assessing student performance as accurately as possible
- Identify the potential ethical pitfalls in different grading systems
- Understand the possible risks and causes of consistently high or low student grades
“Ethics-check” your grading policies. Order the 20-Minute Mentor What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy? today!
Maryellen Weimer has edited The Teaching Professor newsletter since 1987 and writes the Teaching Professor Blog.
The Teaching Professor Blog features a new weekly post from Maryellen on such topics as: the scholarship of teaching and learning, classroom policies, active learning, assessment, generational differences, and student performance.
She is a professor emerita of Teaching and Learning at Penn State Berks and won Penn State’s Milton S. Eisenhower award for distinguished teaching in 2005. Dr. Weimer has a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Penn State.
Dr. Weimer has consulted with over 450 colleges and universities on instructional issues and regularly keynotes national meetings and regional conferences throughout the US and Canada.
She has published several books, including: Inspired College Teaching: A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning: Professional Literature that Makes a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 2006), Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
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