Faculty Survey on Grades
The Task Force on Grading was created by Provost Cody to explore whether there
is a problem with grade inflation at
It should only take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your answers will remain anonymous. Please do not sign or in any way indicate your identity on the survey. The last section of the survey is optional. We have asked a few questions concerning rank, school association and tenure status to examine whether the perspectives of faculty are associated with those characteristics.
Please return this survey to the Task Force member from your school or send
it through inter-office mail to Alisa Smith, SSHS. We would like to receive
all completed surveys by
Task Force Members:
1. On average, what percent of your students do you think deserve the grade of “A”?
2. Our college catalogue defines an “A” grade as “outstanding” and the A- grade as “excellent.” According to your experience as a professor, the current distribution of approximately 30% A-range grades is: a. Appropriate b. Significantly inflated
c. Too low
3. In your syllabi, do you delineate what constitutes outstanding or excellent work? a. Yes b. No c. Sometimes
4. When you determine a grade, i.e., a “C” as “average,” are you grading that student against others’ work in the same class or as stand-alone work against an ideal of excellence? a. Against others’ work in the same class b. Stand-alone work against an ideal c. Other: _____________________________________________________
5. Do you use the “normal curve” as a measure for students’ grades?
a. Yes b. No
6. Do you use objective or subjective methods of student assessment? a. Objective only b. Subjective only c. A combination d. Other: _____________________
7. In the last five years, have you lowered your standards and expectations in the classroom? a. Yes b. No c. Have not been teaching for five years
If yes, please explain: ________________________________________________________
8. In your experience, how often do students come to you and challenge a grade? a.Very Often b. Often c. Sometimes d. Never
9. In your experience, have you had a student formally challenge a grade with an administrator? a. Yes b. No
9(a) If yes, how often, in your experience, have students raised challenges to grades at the administrative level? a. Very Often b. Often c. Rarely
9(b) If yes, what were the outcomes of the administrative grade challenges?
9(c) Were you satisfied with the outcomes of the administrative grade challenge?
a. Yes b. No Please explain: _________________________________________
10. Do you feel pressure to “give” students higher grades because they aspire to graduate, medical or law school? a. Yes b. No c. Sometimes
11. Should effort and attendance be reflected in student grades?
a. Yes b. No c. Sometimes
12. Have you had an opportunity to review your own grading patterns at
Do you think reviewing and comparing grading patterns to other faculty may be helpful? a. Yes b. No
How do you think the rigor of your grading compares to other faculty? a. Below Average b. Average c. Above Average
13. Do you encourage students to withdraw from your courses when they are not doing well? a. Yes b. No
14. Have you ever denied a student’s request for a W grade? a. Yes b. No If yes, how often? a. Very Often b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely
15. How often do you give an “F” to allow a student to repeat a course? a. Very Often b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely
Pass/Fail Grading Option
16. Recent college-wide statistics document that approximately 16.7% of course grades are in the C range. Would you support abandoning letter grading (A,B, C, D, and F) for a more simple scale of “Honors-High Pass-Pass-Fail” grading model? Would you a. Strongly support b. Somewhat support
c. Somewhat reject d. Strongly reject such a grading system.
17. Would you support a wider use of Pass-Fail grading? a. Yes b. No If yes, which of the following courses seem appropriate for the pass/fail grade (not by student choice, but as mandated by policy)(circle all that apply):
a. senior seminar b. freshman seminar c. internships
d. independent study e. courses in a major f. co-ops
g. fieldwork h. gen-ed courses i. athletic courses
j. 1 or 2 credit courses k. lab courses 1. studio art
m. winter session courses n. summer session courses
o. visual/performing studio course
Opinions about Grading in General
18. What constitutes academic rigor?
19. Should there be different criteria depending on the field of study? Why or why not? a.Yes b. No _______________________________________________
20. Do you think student evaluations of faculty performance and concern about low class enrollments impact the rigor of student grades? a. Yes b. No
21. Do you think the “normal curve” should be adopted to measure student excellence? a. Yes b. No Why or why not? _______________________________
22. Do you think the late deadline for withdrawing from courses encourages students to withdraw? a. Yes b. No
23. Do you think the late deadline for withdrawing from courses discourages students from committing to their classes earlier? a. Yes b. No
24. Do you support adding an A+ and a D- to the current grading scale? a. Yes b. No
25. Do you support the current grading scale with 11 categories ranging from A/A- to DIF? a. Yes b. No If no, how would you change the grading scale?
26. Would you support modifying the current grading scale from the letter system to a number system on a 0 to 100 scale? a. Yes b. No
27. Total years teaching: __________
28. Rank: Assistant Associate Full
29. Circle one: Tenured Non-tenured
30. Unit: _______________________________
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey! Have an “above average” day!