Teaching for Tenure and Beyond: Strategies for Maximizing Your Student Ratings

By Franklin H. Silverman | Go to book overview
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12

Establishing an Examination and Grading Policy That Students Are Likely to Consider Fair

While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to establish an examination and grading policy that all of your students will consider completely fair, you should be able to establish one that most of your students will regard as being adequately fair. It’s crucial to do so because one of the most frequent reasons why students give an instructor relatively low teaching ratings is that they consider his or her examination and/or grading policy unfair.

Our focus in this chapter will be on testing and grading. We will begin by considering some possible reasons for giving examinations. Next, the essential components of an examination and grading policy will be delineated along with some criteria for judging its fairness. Following this, some factors will be considered that affect students’ judgments about the fairness of an examination and grading policy. And finally, some strategies will be suggested for maximizing the likelihood that students will perceive an examination and grading policy as being adequately fair.


REASONS FOR GIVING EXAMINATIONS

Why give an examination? There are a number of possible answers to this question, four of which are dealt with in this section. The order in which they’re considered isn’t intended to suggest anything about their relevance for answering this question.


Meeting a Contractual Obligation

Your contractual obligation to your college or university requires you to give each student in each course you teach a grade. The grades you give

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