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Virginia Commonwealth University

1. Grimes, Tameshia V. Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices.

Degree: PhD, Educational Studies, 2010, Virginia Commonwealth University

This descriptive, non-experimental, quantitative study was designed to answer the broad question, “What do grades mean?” Core academic subject middle school teachers from one large, suburban school district in Virginia were administered an electronic survey that asked them to report on aspects of their grading practices and assessment methods for one class taught during the 2008-2009 school year. The survey addressed the following topics: 1) primary purposes for grades, 2) attitudes toward grading, 3) assessment method, and 4) grading practices. Additionally, the study examined the relationship between teachers’ reported assessment and grading methods and student achievement. Overall results and results disaggregated by subject area, grade level, and student ability level suggest that teachers are consistent in what they consider the primary purposes for grades. The vast majority indicated that grades should communicate student levels of mastery of content and skills. However, sizable percentages of teachers reported that they also considered non-academic indicators such as effort, attendance, and paying attention in class when determining student grades, suggesting a lack of alignment between their reported beliefs and practice. The study examined the extent to which teachers’ reported grading and assessment practices were consistent with those recommended in the literature on measurement and assessment. The study findings are consistent with those of findings from previous studies suggesting that teachers engage in “hodgepodge grading,” a practice which incorporates non-academic factors into student grades. The results also show that teachers use a variety of assessment methods and types of questions when measuring student achievement. The results indicate that projects, student exhibits, essays, inclusion of zeros, and extra credit were associated with higher levels of student achievement. Conversely, norm-referencing, classwork, participation, and matching were negatively correlated with student grades and test scores. Advisors/Committee Members: Lisa Abrams.

Subjects/Keywords: grading practices; assessment methods; grading purposes; measurement theory; Education

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Grimes, T. V. (2010). Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices. (Doctoral Dissertation). Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved from https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/etd/2076

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Grimes, Tameshia V. “Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices.” 2010. Doctoral Dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University. Accessed August 18, 2019. https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/etd/2076.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Grimes, Tameshia V. “Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices.” 2010. Web. 18 Aug 2019.

Vancouver:

Grimes TV. Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Virginia Commonwealth University; 2010. [cited 2019 Aug 18]. Available from: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/etd/2076.

Council of Science Editors:

Grimes TV. Interpreting the meaning of grades: A descriptive analysis of middle school teachers' assessment and grading practices. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Virginia Commonwealth University; 2010. Available from: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/etd/2076

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