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Would you grade with +/- grading?

CatriaCatria Posts: 111
edited May 2013 in Parents Forum
Some people would grade students without giving subgrades even if the use of subgrades may give more academic resolution than what would be afforded without.

My question is: would you grade papers (or even entire classes) with subgrades or not, if given the choice?
Post edited by Catria on
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Replies to: Would you grade with +/- grading?

  • garlandgarland Posts: 65
    edited May 2013
    I teach college freshman English. So I grade a lot of papers. They get one grade for each paper, but also some sort of rubric to suggest areas of strength or weakness, plus comments on the papers and an long overall note about the paper.

    They also get comments on two drafts before the final draft which gets graded.
  • CatriaCatria Posts: 111
    edited May 2013
    For subgrades, I mean plus or minuses after a letter grade (A+, A-, that sort of thing)
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Posts: 81
    edited May 2013
    No sub grades. Keeps things simple.
  • axwaxw Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    As a parent I always appreciated the +'s and -'s on grades. It helps to know if the "B" is "almost a C" or "almost an A". It also allows parents and students to see incremental improvement (or decline) in grades and respond accordingly.
  • CatriaCatria Posts: 111
    edited May 2013
    I prefer to increase resolution rather than to decrease it, since not all As and Bs are made equal. So I'd rather assign +'s and -'s as necessary.

    Of course, I may be a little biased because I have never received a letter grade that was not accompanied by a numerical grade in college, or even high school; for us, letter grades are handed out after the numerical grades are computed.
  • cellopopcellopop Posts: 1 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    If you are going to use +/-, I think you should include A+ as a possibility. My kid's high school does allow +/- for final grades, except that A is as high as you can get. Thus a student with an A- or two, all of the test As, won't get a 4.0 GPA (they don't weight, either). Doesn't seem fair to ding the GPA for an A-, when some of the As might be perfect scores.
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Posts: 81
    edited May 2013
    It is fair to "ding" the A-. It's not as good as an A.
  • garlandgarland Posts: 65
    edited May 2013
    Ah. sorry for my misunderstanding. Of course I want, and use, +'s and -'s. Don't most schools?
  • kiddiekiddie Posts: 21
    edited May 2013
    My daughter's college professors this year have graded many of her papers with a number (scale to 100) - with a number grade you know exactly where you stand. They also supplied a scale of how to translate the grades into letters (which is what her final class grades were).
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Posts: 31
    edited May 2013
    In general, the college/university sets what the allowable grades are (i.e. one college may use A+ while another does not). As a professor, I have no problem with using +/- grades.
  • MarianMarian Posts: 19
    edited May 2013
    If you are going to use +/-, I think you should include A+ as a possibility.

    One of my kids went to a college where A+ (4.3) was a possibility. Some kids graduated with GPAs above 4.0.
  • collegeshoppingcollegeshopping Posts: 7
    edited May 2013
    The University of Texas is on the plus/minus system but there is not an A+. So you can make 98-100's in all classes and a 92 in the remaining class and not earn a 4.0. My daughter is suffering from that pain right now, but the kids know that is how the system works so it comes as no surprise. What can become even more confusing is that a 93 in one class can be a solid A but in another an A-. But the students get the grading policy at the beginning of the semester so they know the particular rules for each individual class.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Posts: 24
    edited May 2013
    I really don't care for the straight A, B, C. +'s and -'s, when accompanied by corresponding point values (x.33, x.0, x.67) give a better indication of performance. I don't like the idea of A+'s, but if you have them and they're set at a 4.3, grades need to be reported as x.x/4.3.

    What constitutes an x from an x+ or an x- can vary with individual professors or departments. Nursing, for example, sets the lowest A at 95. The default for the lowest A on the electronic system is 93. The prof who handles remedial math uses a high school scale since it's high school level work. Failing is anything below 70. I don't see any of this as unfair. The rules are spelled out in the syllabus.
  • HannaHanna Posts: 20
    edited May 2013
    Yes, I would use subgrades. Making finer distinctions among students strikes me as a better practice. Fairness doesn't enter into the question as long as the rules are clearly stated up front.
  • cobratcobrat Posts: 85
    edited May 2013
    Yes, I would use subgrades. Making finer distinctions among students strikes me as a better practice. Fairness doesn't enter into the question as long as the rules are clearly stated up front.

    Agreed. Moreover, I am not a big fan of using the A+/4.33 grade unless the work turned in was exceptionally heads and shoulders better than the rest of the class...including other A students. I'm talking top student one may only meet once every decade or few.
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