Adriana Streifer is an Assistant Professor and an Assistant Director in the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at the University of Virginia. She runs the CTE’s course design institute, graduate student teaching certificate program, and teaching consultations. Adriana conducts research on effective course design, alternative and equitable grading practices, and students’ perceptions of instructor race and gender. Her publications can be found in College Teaching, To Improve the Academy, and the Journal of Faculty Development. With a background in English literature, Adriana teaches undergraduate courses in writing and Renaissance drama, and graduate seminars on teaching and learning in higher education.
Grading practices in higher education vary a great deal between colleges, departments, and universities. The grading practices of a professor often reflect the instructor’s beliefs regarding a student and their motivation and success within an academic discipline. While faculty members might strive for equitable and fair grading practices, they can often perpetuate unfair policies that disadvantage their students. Faculty members can struggle with evaluating their own grading practices, communicating their practices, and assessing their practices as it relates to grading. While grades can serve as a motivator for some students, traditional grading practices can disproportionally advantages students from a privileged background and disadvantage underserved students. It is necessary and important for faculty members to assess and review their grading practices to ensure they are equitable and fair.
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