Pass/Fail and Discretionary Grading: A Snapshot of Their Influences on Learning

Sherri Melrose
2017 Open Journal of Nursing  
This article provides a snapshot of pass/fail and discretionary grading approaches, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each. Normreferenced and criterion-referenced grading practices and their associations with learning are identified. A brief historical backdrop illustrates how grading practices have evolved. The inherent subjectivity of grading is emphasized. Pass/fail grading supports intrinsic motivation and self-direction, but limits opportunities for recognizing excelling
more » ... nizing excelling students. Discretionary grading, which includes letter (F− to A+) and numeric (0% to 100%) representations, supports extrinsic motivation and self-improvement, but promotes unhealthy competition. Both approaches have merit and can effectively measure student achievement in nursing education programs.
doi:10.4236/ojn.2017.72016 fatcat:ahjrybfh3rbsfa2u5wqx6hri34