Grade Inflation

High grades encourage learning

In a study that compared grade inflation rates among students of different abilities at an open admission public university, McSpirit and Jones (1999) found that lower ability students were experiencing the highest rate of grade increase and suggested that faculty might be using grades to encourage learning rates among marginal students. As well, in fields such as education, grades are sometimes viewed as a product of reciprocal relationships between academic performance and student effort, in that grades are not only a reward (that is, greater effort producing higher grades) but also an incentive (that is, students who earn higher grades devote even more effort to their studies) (Erekson, 1992).

© Margret Winzer, 2005. This site last updated: May 3, 2005