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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. McClure & Lee C. Spector, 2004. "Plus/Minus Grading and Motivation: An Empirical Study of Student Choice and Performance," Working Papers 200401, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200401
    as

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    File URL: http://web.bsu.edu/cob/econ/research/papers/bsuecwp200401mcclure.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Keywords

    Student Motivation; Plus/Minus grading; undergraduate education;

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