Essay on Should College Courses Be Graded Pass/Fail?

1037 Words Sep 7th, 2011 5 Pages
Should College Courses be Graded "Pass/Fail?”

This morning my son and I sat for a nice breakfast out on our patio to listen to the birds and enjoy the fresh air. Zack is fourteen years old and just finished his freshman year in high school. I posed a question to him, “What motivates you to get a better grade than a C on your assignments and exams?” Zack explained his motivation comes from trying to achieve an A because that’s the best and he tries hard to get the best grade. I then asked him, “What if your assignments and exams were graded only as a pass or fail, would you just do the minimum work that was required to get by?” His answer actually surprised me. He explained that without the pressure of meeting the grading
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According to the UMUC School of Undergraduate Studies, their mission is to provide open access to quality undergraduate educational opportunities to students pursuing a university education. The University is committed to meeting students’ needs for life-long learning by providing innovative delivery of high-quality educational programs, ensuring substantive and relevant curricula, and recognizing the value of experiential learning (UMUC page 6). The question is can UMUC achieve its mission by implementing a pass/fail grading system? If the overall goal is for the value of student learning for life, then pass/fail criteria may work in meeting their mission statement. The pressure would be on the lecturer to create an atmosphere of creativity and innovation to motivate students to learn more and yearn for applying this new tool to their lives. This could spark interaction and an environment where the professor and students feed off each others ideas. As long as the foundation of knowledge level was achieved the actual subjects learned would become the class journey instead of a curriculum destination. The key is the motivation for students to strive for knowledge instead of the grade. It can be argued that some basic curriculums, like reading, writing, and arithmetic, are not stimulating subjects and students must be driven by grades to achieve the lessons learned. There is also

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