Grading is a process in which a teacher constructs context, meaning, format, and expected learning outcomes for a unit of academic instruction; selects protocols (multiple-choice items, essay questions, term papers, projects, performances, etc.) to determine how well the student has achieved those outcomes; and then reports the “grade” to the student and/or official agencies. To an outsider, grading may appear as perfunctory as writing a few marginal comments on a C+ essay or scoring an objective test with an 85%, butto experienced educators, grading is clearly a dynamic and demanding classroom interaction.

Historically, teachers have complained about grading, students have complained about grades, and institutions have tinkered with grade reporting methodologies (whole letter grades, plus and minus grades, pass and fail grades, etc.); nevertheless, grading is ...

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