Did you know that MQ runs a monthly learning and teaching podcast discussion club? If you didn’t participate in our last session, here’s a glimpse of what you missed.

In our previous session, we examined the contentious yet fascinating subject of academic grade inflation (full podcast).

We debated whether the abundance of A’s at elite institutions like Yale and Harvard (where nearly 80% of all grades awarded to undergraduates were A’s or A minuses) is indicative of student excellence or a sign of a broader trend.

Past Grades, Present Questions

We also delved into the historical backdrop of grade inflation. We pondered whether the significant surge in average grades during the Vietnam War era (potentially driven by educators’ intent to protect young people from being drafted) could have established a precedent that still influences grading practices.

Teaching Evaluations and Their Impact

My personal highlight of the discussion was the potential correlation between the grades educators assign and the evaluations they receive, as suggested by some researchers. We questioned whether lenient grading could result in higher teaching evaluations, and what this implies for the integrity of academic standards.

The Ripple Effects of Grade Inflation

We further explored the wider implications of grade inflation. We discussed whether it devalues the college degree, distorts the job market, or influences students’ academic choices.

Join the Conversation: Our next meeting is this Wednesday!

Our upcoming podcast club meeting promises to be equally stimulating. We’ll contrast and compare SOTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) and DBER (Discipline-Based Education Research). We’ll also discuss the advantages and challenges of structured courses versus flipped classrooms and share examples of authentic assessment to bridge theory and practice.

We invite you to be part of this discussion. No preparation is needed. We’ll listen to podcast snippets and discuss them. Simply log in, share your thoughts, and invite colleagues. The more diverse the perspectives, the richer the conversation!

Other resources on the topic:

Image credits: Image generated with AI (CoPilot)

Posted by Olga Kozar

I'm a 'long-term' Mq girl. I did my PhD here and taught on different courses, ranging from 1st year to PhD students. I now work in Learning and Teaching, which I love. I have 2 young kids and a dog, and I love meeting other Mq people, so give me a shout if you'd like to talk 'learning and teaching' or would like to brainstorm together.

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