Meanings and Values in Instructors Grading Practices at Al-Najah National University in Palestine

اجتياد عبد الرزاق أبو ثابت, يوسف محمد السوالمة


The study aimed at identifying the evaluation practices used in assigning grades at An-Najah National University and the meanings embedded in them and the values considered in the grading process. The study sample consisted of 301 faculty members in the Humanities, Scientific and Medical Faculties. To achieve the objectives of the study, the researchers used a tool consisting of nine evaluation scenarios, each with several responses, followed by an open question to justify the given response. The nine scenarios cover four areas: Effort and capacity (3 scenarios), failure to fulfill the course’s requirements (2) , improvement (2) ,and dismissal from the University (2). A coding scheme for the written answers to open questions based on Messick’s Progressive Matrix of validity facets was used for both the quantitative and qualitative analyses. The Chi-Square Test for Independence (χ²) was used to study the relationship between the grading practices and the meanings and values embedded in them. The results of the study indicated that the evaluation practices vary according to the faculty, and that faculty members depend on academic and non-academic factors in the grading process. It also indicated that the meaning of the grade is closely related to the student work, and instructors were concerned about their commitment to the university’s assessment system and about being fair in the assessment process. The study recommends that Palestinian and Arab universities have to follow educational and evaluation theories related to gradation such as Missck’s Theory, when adopt any of the internationally valid grade system.


Practices, Letter grading system, Meanings and Values, Messick’s theory

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