Faculty perception before, during and after implementation of standards-based grading

Eunsil Lee, Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus
Adam R. Carberry, Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus
Heidi A. Diefes-Dux, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Sara A. Atwood, Elizabethtown College
Matt T. Siniawski, Loyola Marymount University


An effective transition to a new grading system requires a process of reflecting on experiences to understand and reframe perceptions of grading. Standards-based grading (SBG), an alternative to the traditional, summative score-based grading, was introduced to higher education engineering faculty either through a workshop or as a direct participant in a larger research project. These faculty were surveyed to better understand the perceptions faculty hold before, during and after implementation of SBG. Perceived student gains, barriers and best practices were solicited using an open-ended survey of faculty who had attended the workshop on SBG, were preparing to implement SBG, had implemented SBG for the first time or had implemented SBG multiple times. Themes among the different groups emerged, providing insights into faculty perceptions at different phases of SBG implementation. The study also demonstrated the necessity of faculty support structures to establish an environment favourable for widespread grading reformation.