A STUDY OF THE GRADING PATTERNS AND PERSPECTIVES OF MALE AND FEMALE FACULTY MEMBERS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

MARY JOAN A WERTHMAN, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study examined whether or not female faculty members had contributed to grade inflation. Male-female differences in grading perspectives, overall teacher attitudes, grading criteria, and average grades assigned were examined. Additionally, the present study researched possible differences in grading perspectives among different academic divisions. Since this study was, in part, a replication of the Geisinger and Rabinowitz (1979) study, relationships between grading perspectives and specific grading practices were examined.^ Data for the present study consisted of the survey responses of 51 matched male-female pairs of full-time faculty members. Faculty members were matched on the variables of sex, department, academic rank and course taught and were selected from the Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Business divisions at four colleges. The instruments included the Faculty Information Survey, Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory (MTAI), the Faculty Orientation Toward Grading Inventory (FOG) and the Purdue Values Inventory (PVI).^ Sex-difference hypotheses were examined using Hotelling's T('2) statistic and subsequent t-tests of mean differences. Hypotheses related to differences among faculty members in different academic divisions were evaluated through a multivariate split-plots analysis of variance using academic division as the between subjects factor and sex (male-female pairs) as the repeated measures, within subjects factor. Zero-order and partial (controlling for sex) correlation coefficients were used to examine the relationships between grading attitudes and both average grades assigned and specific grading criteria variables.^ Overall, the present study revealed significant sex differences in grading attitudes among faculty members; females were more self-referenced while males were more norm-referenced. Significant sex differences were not found for average grades assigned, teacher attitudes, and the use of specific grading criteria. Faculty members in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Business areas were found to be more norm-referenced than faculty members in the Social Sciences. Faculty members who were more norm-referenced tended to assign lower average grades; faculty members who were more self-referenced tended to use more "subjective" grading criteria in contrast to the use of Examinations and Quizzes. Future research studies may reveal the existence of other factors such as "attitudinal" differences and "personological" differences among faculty members which may be more causal to grade inflation than sex differences among faculty members. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, General

Recommended Citation

MARY JOAN A WERTHMAN, "A STUDY OF THE GRADING PATTERNS AND PERSPECTIVES OF MALE AND FEMALE FACULTY MEMBERS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION" (January 1, 1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8615696.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615696

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