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Plus/Minus Grading and Motivation: An Empirical Study of Student Choice and Performance

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Author Info

  • James E. McClure

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • Lee C. Spector

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

Abstract

This paper considers whether student motivation might be impacted by the replacement of a straight (A, B, C, D, F) grading system with a plus/minus system (A, A-, B+ . . . D-, F). The data that are examined are from several undergraduate economics classes at a mid-sized Midwestern university in the United States. The data includes student characteristics, student performance, and students' choices of either a plus/minus or a straight grading system. In this admittedly small scale study students, who chose plus/minus grading, were not significantly more motivated than students who opted for straight grading.

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File URL: http://econfac.iweb.bsu.edu/research/workingpapers/bsuecwp200401mcclure.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ball State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200401.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision: Jan 2005
Publication status: Published in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 30 no. 6 (2005): 571-579.
Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200401

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Related research

Keywords: Student Motivation; Plus/Minus grading; undergraduate education;

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  1. Tisha L. N. Emerson & Beck A. Taylor, 2004. "Comparing Student Achievement across Experimental and Lecture-Oriented Sections of a Principles of Microeconomics Course," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 672-693, January.
  2. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
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