Faculty perception before and after implementation of standards-based grading

Eunsil Lee, Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus
Adam Carberry, Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus
Heidi Diefes-Dux, Purdue University
Sara Atwood, Elizabethtown College
Matthew 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 of a larger research project. These faculty were surveyed to better understand the perceptions faculty hold before 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, or had implemented SBG for the first time. 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 favorable for widespread grading reformation.