IIM  Vol.2 No.10 , October 2010
Adaptive System for Assigning Reliable Students’ Letter Grades—A Computer Code
ABSTRACT
The availability of automated evaluation methodologies that may reliably be used for determining students’ scholastic performance through assigning letter grades are of utmost practical importance to educators, students, and do invariably have pivotal values to all stakeholders of the academic process. In particular, educators use letter grades as quantification metrics to monitor students’ intellectual progress within a framework of clearly specified learning objectives of a course. To students grades may be used as predictive measures and motivating drives for success in a study field. However due to numerous objective and subjective variables that may by be accounted for in a methodological process of assigning students’ grades, and since such a process is often tainted with personal philosophy and human psychology factors, it is essential that educators exercise extra care in maximizing positive account of all objective factors and minimizing negative ramifications of subjectively fuzzy factors. To this end, and in an attempt to make assigning students’ grades more reliable for assessing true-level of mastering specified learning outcomes, this paper will: i) provide a literature review on previous works on the most common methods that have traditionally been in use for assigning students’ grades, and a short account of the virtues and/or vices of such methods, and ii) present a user-friendly computer code that may be easily adapted for the purpose of assigning students’ grades. This would relieve educators from the overwhelming concerns associated with mechanistic aspects of determining educational metrics, and it would allow them to have more time and focus to obtain reliable assessments of true-level of students’ mastery of learning outcomes by accounting for all possible evaluation components.

Cite this paper
nullS. Alghamdi, "Adaptive System for Assigning Reliable Students’ Letter Grades—A Computer Code," Intelligent Information Management, Vol. 2 No. 10, 2010, pp. 569-585. doi: 10.4236/iim.2010.210066.
References
[1]   E. J. Pedhazur and L. P. Schmelkin, “Measurement, Design and Analysis: An Integrated Approach,” Law- rence, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, 1991.

[2]   B. Thompson and T. Vacha-Haase, “Psychometrics is Datametrics: The Test is Not Reliable,” Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2000, pp. 174- 195.

[3]   L. M. Aleamoni, “Why is Grading Difficult? Note to the Faculty,” University of Arizona, Office of Instructional Research and Development, Tucson, 1978.

[4]   D. A. Frisbie, N. A. Diamond and J. C. Ory, “Assigning Course Grades,” Office of Instructional Resources, Uni- versity of Illinois, Urbana, 1979.

[5]   W. Hornby, “Assessing Using Grade-Related Criteria: A Single Currency for Universities?” Assessment & Eva- luation in Higher Education, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2003, pp. 435-454.

[6]   B. Cheang, A. Kurnia, A. Lim and W.-C. Oon, “On Auto- mated Grading of Programming Assignment in an Aca- demic Institution,” Computers and Education, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2003, pp. 121-131.

[7]   W. J. McKeachie, “College Grades: A Rational and Mild Defense,” AAUP Bull, Vol. 320, 1976.

[8]   J. S. Terwilliger, “Classroom Standard Setting and Grad- ing Practices,” Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1989, pp. 15-19.

[9]   G. R. Johnson, “Taking Teaching Seriously: A Faculty Handbook,” Texas A & M University, Center for Teach- ing Excellence, College Station, TX, 1988.

[10]   J. E. Stice, “Grades and Test Scores: Do They Predict Adult Achievement?” Engineering Education, No. 390, 1979.

[11]   K. E. Eble, “The Craft of Teaching,” 2nd Edition, Jossey- Bass, San Francisco, 1988.

[12]   W. J. McKeachie, “The A B C’s of Assigning Grades- Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers,” In: W. J. McKeachie Ed., 9th Edition, D. C. Heath, Lexington, 1994.

[13]   J. S. Terwilliger, “Assigning Grades to Students,” IL: Scott, Forsman, Glenview, 1971.

[14]   M. J. Evans and J. S. Rosenthal, “Probability and Statis- tics-The Science of Uncertainty,” 1st Edition, W. H. Freeman, 2004, p. 638.

[15]   K. A. Smith, “Grading and Distributive Justice,” Pro- ceedings ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, IEEE, New York, 1986, p. 421.

[16]   R. L. Ebel, “Essentials of Educational Measurement,” 3rd Edition, , Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1979.

[17]   C. Adelman, “Performance and Judgment: Essay on Prin- ciples And Practice in the Assessment of College Student Learning,” U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D. C., 1988.

[18]   R. M. W. Travers, “Appraisal of the Teaching of the College Faculty,” Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 21, No. 41, 1950.

[19]   R. L. Thornedike, “Applied Psychometrics,” Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1982.

[20]   G. S. Hanna and W. E. Cashin, “Matching Instruction Objectives, Subject Matter, Tests, and Score Interpre- tations. (IDEA Paper 18), ” Kansas State University, Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, Man- hattan, 1987.

[21]   P. Elbow, “Embracing Contraries: Explorations in Learning and Teaching,” Oxford University Press, New York, 1986.

[22]   J. D. Krumboltz and C. J. Yeh, “Competitive Grading Sabotage Good Teaching,” Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 78, No. 4, 1996.

[23]   T. R. Guskey, “Grading Policies That Work Against Standards and How to Fix Them,” NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 620, 2000, pp. 20-29.

[24]   J. M. Graham, “Congeneric and (Essentially) Tau- Equivalent Estimates of Score Reliability—What They are and How to Use Them,” Educational and Psycho- logical Measurement, Vol. 66, No. 6, 2006, pp. 930-944.

[25]   I. Krunger, “A Computer Code to Assign Student Grades,” Educational and Psychological Measurement, No. 34, 1974, pp. 179-180.

[26]   Microsoft Corporation, “Managing grade with Excel 2002,” 2002. http://www.microsoft.com/education/ Ma- nagingGrades.mspx.

[27]   E. Wilson, C. L. Karr and L. M. Freeman, “Flexible, Adaptive, Automatic Fuzzy-Based Grade Assigning System,” Proceedings Fuzzy Information Processing Society—NAFIPS, Conference of the North American, Vol. 60, 1998, pp. 174-195.

[28]   S. A. Alghamdi, “Towards Automated and Reliable Evaluation of Students’ Scholastic Performance: A FORTARN Computer Code,” Unpublished report, CE- Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, KSA, 2008.

[29]   S. R. Cheshier, “Assigning Grades More Fairly,” Engi- neering Education, Vol. 343, 1975.

 
 
Top