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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 5 (2004) pp 314-316

General Chemistry: Thinking Beyond the Course GPA

Catherine Hurt Middlecamp,*, Michael D. Mosher, and James D. Carr§

Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, chmiddle@wisc.edu; Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849; and §Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln NE 68588

Published online: 28 Sepember 2004

Abstract. From our own anecdotal data and concerns over “grade inflation,” we believe that instructors tend to view a low course GPA more favorably than a higher course GPA. If so, this sets up a potential conflict of interests. An instructor may feel torn between what boosts student learning and what maintains “the standards” as evidenced by a low course GPA. Thus, it may be worthwhile for instructors to move beyond using the course GPA as any sort of standard, and instead examine our beliefs about grades, student success, and student failure.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; first-year chemistry; general chemistry; introductory chemistry; undergraduate; chemistry education; grades; grading; GPA; ICUC

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: chmiddle@wisc.edu)

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Issue date: October 1, 2004

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