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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 4, December 2011

John Immerwahr
Pages 335-346

The Case for Motivational Grading

Is it legitimate to use grades for the purpose of motivating students to do things that will improve their learning (such as attending class) or is the only valid purpose of grades to evaluate student mastery of course skills and content? Daryl Close and others contend that using grades as motivators is either unfair or counterproductive. This article argues that there is a legitimate use for “motivational grading,” which is the practice of using some grades solely or primarily for the purpose of encouraging student behaviors that are likely to improve learning.

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