Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Assessment = Grade?

 I was in one of those meetings with people where we were supposed to talk about assessment stuffs, and the question came up:  Assume you have three possible outcomes for a specific assessment bit, which is being assessed based on a given assignment, say an essay.

exceeds expectations

meets expectations/

doesn't meet expectations.

One of the people in the room said, basically, that meeting expectations meant the assignment was an A.

I tend to think more, meets expectations demonstrates competency, which is a C to start, though a B definitely meets expectations, too, and maybe an A exceeds expectations?

How do you and your colleagues talk about these?


  1. Anonymous10:16 AM

    I'm in corporate training, so we habitually use scales like this instead of letter grades. We usually do 5-level or 10-level for important things, but do occasionally do 3-level like what you've outlined. Usually for activities, where the score doesn't count for anything beyond feedback during the activity.

    Generally speaking, for us, "exceeds" means "this person is so great, what they did is an example to others." Their manager has little or nothing to talk with them about improving, and if it's something that can be demoed, they're likely to be asked to demo it for the group in the moment or they may be asked to demo similar things in the future. I'd say it's the equivalent of an A to an A+.

    "Meets" is "they did fine, but they're not amazing." Their manager generally has some things to discuss with them so that they can build skills, but it's just a feedback conversation about where they need to work more. Probably in letter grade terms, the range goes from A- to C-.

    "Doesn't meet expectations" generally means a bigger manager one-on-one training intervention. If they "didn't meet" on a certification (usually a 5- or 10-level scale, not 3-level), it generally means the intervention plus a retest and if they "don't meet" again on the retest, their continued employment is usually in jeopardy. In letter grade terms, it's probably D to F territory.

  2. Anonymous12:41 PM

    For assessment for accreditation, we put the level for 'meet expectations' at the level for which the coursework/grade would allow it to count towards the requirement, which for most things could be a 'D'. We usually have 2 categories above which are closer to B/C and A.

  3. Like Anonymous @ 10:16, I'd say "exceeds expectations" is an A or A-. "Meets expectations" is a B or C, and "doesn't meet expectations" is a D or F. When I'm talking to students about my grading standards, I tell them that I can show them what to do to earn a B, but if they want to earn an A, they have to go beyond expectations in some way.

  4. Anonymath5:05 AM

    I agree with Brian. Exceeds needs to be the A, because if meets is the A there is no way to reward/appropriately grade the higher performance of exceeding expectations. Meets is a B/C possibly depending on level of the class (UG/G), doesn’t meet expectations is a D.

  5. Anonymous8:27 AM

    The problem I always encountered was that we had a very wonky set of rubrics (if any) that senior faculty interpreted their own way. For example, one professor would see basically attending as meeting expectations (an A grade on that scale) while another would require exceeding expectations for the same A. That always found its way into assessment discussions and was never resolved.

  6. Exceeds has to be the A. There should be something for above "meets expectations" (the B level) and C should be "meets expectations." This all goes out the window if you're doing contract grading, though; then it's all laid out from day 1 (show up X times, exceeds expectations, etc.).