Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Kristy Cook




Standards-based grading reports on student’s mastery of standards. Grading in this way allows students multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of a standard; whereas, traditional grading practices assign grades to assessments and generally that grade cannot be changed even if the student later shows mastery of that set of skills. This action research study examines the effectiveness of standards-based grading and traditional grading practices in providing understanding of student mastery to students and teachers. In addition, the research addresses how well students can identify learning targets during each grading system.

To examine the effectiveness of each grading practice, the study included student journals, teacher reflection data, and student self-assessments. Student journals were used to identify learning targets each day. The research shows that students identified the learning target correctly about the same frequency during each grading system.

The researcher reflected on student mastery for each grading system by rating students on a proficiency scale twice for each system. The research reveals that during the traditional grading unit the researcher was unsure of the proficiency levels of students just based on assessments scores. However, during the standards-based unit, the teacher knew exactly how proficient each student was by looking at the assessment scores.

Included in

Education Commons