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Fair Grading Policies

For Those Who Teach

Fair Grading Policies

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Grading should be impartial and consistent. It should also be based on how competently the student handles the academic content of the course. Those are the two principles Daryl Close (2009) explores in a fine article titled “Fair Grading.” And they’re principles widely supported by faculty. Even so, Close makes this point: “Because we are well-intentioned, conscientious professors, we assume that we grade our students fairly, regardless of the grading techniques that we use” (p. 362). He challenges that assumption with this honest assessment: “I have practiced at one time or another grading policies that I now believe to be unfair or violations of professional duties” (p. 362).

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