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Who Makes the Grade?

VU International News and Reviews No. 122 October 22 2018

October 2018

Researchers from Duke University undertook a meta-analysis or 36 research studies to analyse how grading done by students themselves relates to grading by the teacher. This is relevant because both through online education and large classes we see an increase of dependence on student grading. In their article “Who Makes the Grade? Research Comparing Self, Peer and Instructor Grades in College” they report that students tend to grade themselves 0.41 standard deviation higher than their teachers would – and this effect gets stronger after the first Bachelor’s year. They found – besides that fact that students grade their peers less optimistically than they grade themselves – that training in grading, lowering the stakes on the grade, and having more frequent tests helps to decrease the grade inflation when students are in charge. Useful reading in contexts where student grading can’t be avoided.

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