What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?

What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?

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?

Learning Goals

In her eye-opening presentation, the presenter examines five specific areas where ethical issues should be a concern, including the:

  1. The appropriateness and fairness of your grading standards
  2. The objectivity of your grading
  3. The accuracy of your grading as a measure of student performance
  4. The impact of grading policies on student learning behavior
  5. 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.

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

"This was a very helpful program to reflect on the grading system and the ethical issues involved. Learning should be our focus and not so much on the actual grades." -Program Participant

Topics Covered

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, the program mentor considers grading standards, the validity of grades as measures of learning, the impact grades can have on our students’ aspirations, and more.

The presenter 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.


“Ethics-check” your grading policies. Order the 20-Minute Mentor What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy? today!

Product Code: PM15WA

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