Do Early Progress Grade Reports Change Student Performance in a Required, Introductory Horticulture Course?

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  • 1 Univ. of Arkansas, Horticulture, Fayetteville, AR 72701

In a required introductory horticulture course during a 5-year period, students received early progress grades 1/3rd of the way through the course reflecting 20% of the possible points to be awarded in the class. It was thought that student knowledge of their grade performance may result in changes in behavior and class performance. The early progress and final grades both had a bell-shaped distribution with 45% and 48% of students receiving grades better than “C” for early progress and final grades, respectively. There was a significant although low correlation between early progress grades and final grades for the course (r2 = 0.58). About 50% of the students received a final grade equal to the early progress grades, and 27% received grades higher than the early progress grades. The greatest change in performance were students who received a “D” early progress grade; 60% of those students improved their final grade. Nearly 25% of the students received final grades lower than the early progress grades. Of students receiving failing early progress grades (12%), nearly 60% withdrew from the course and only 10% received passing final grades.

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