100-Point Grading Scale Is a Stacked Deck
The 100-point grading scale is often criticized for various reasons. And some argue that it can be a stacked deck in the sense. That it may not accurately reflect a student’s true abilities or the quality of their work.
Here are some reasons why the 100-point grading scale is criticized:
- Lack of granularity: The 100-point scale is limited in granularity, which means. That it may not provide enough differentiation between students’ performance. For example, the difference between an 85 and an 86 may not accurately represent the difference in the quality of work.
- Subjectivity: Grading on a 100-point scale can be subjective, as it relies on the judgment of the instructor. Different instructors may have different grading standards, making it difficult to maintain consistency across classes and institutions.
- High-stakes grading: In some educational systems, a single grade on a 100-point scale can have a significant impact on a student’s overall GPA or academic standing. This can create undue stress and pressure on students, leading to a focus on grades rather than genuine learning.
- Limited feedback: A numerical grade on a 100-point scale often provides limited feedback to students. It doesn’t convey specific strengths and weaknesses in their work or offer guidance on how to improve.
- Doesn’t account for effort or growth: A 100-point scale primarily measures the final outcome. Not the effort put into learning or the growth a student has achieved over time. Some students may work hard and show improvement but receive lower grades because they haven’t reached a certain benchmark.
- Encourages grade inflation: In some cases, the 100-point scale may encourage grade inflation. Instructors may feel pressure to assign higher grades to avoid complaints or maintain institutional standards. This can devalue the meaning of grades.
- A narrow focus on summative assessment: The 100-point scale tends to emphasize summative assessments (final exams and projects). Over formative assessments (ongoing quizzes, assignments, and feedback). This approach may not encourage a focus on the process of learning and continuous improvement.
- Ignores individual learning styles: Different students have different learning styles and strengths. A 100-point scale may not accommodate these differences and may unfairly disadvantage students. Whose strengths lie in areas not well-measured by traditional grading.
In response to these criticisms, some educators and institutions have explored alternative grading systems. Such as standards-based grading, competency-based grading, or narrative evaluations. Which aim to provide more holistic and individualized assessments of student learning. These systems attempt to address some of the limitations associated with the 100-point grading scale. And promote a deeper understanding of student performance and progress.
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