An integrated mixed-methods study of contract grading's impact on adolescents' perceptions of stress in high school English : a pilot study

Ward, E. (2021) An integrated mixed-methods study of contract grading's impact on adolescents' perceptions of stress in high school English : a pilot study. Assessing Writing, 48: 100508. ISSN 1075-2935

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This study analyzed the impact of contract grading on adolescents’ perceptions of stress amid Good Shepherd High School's annual research paper unit. While college instructors have employed contract grading since the 1970s, the alternative assessment approach appears underused and under-analyzed in contemporary high school classrooms. In spring 2019, participants (n = 53) enrolled in one of seven senior-level English courses with identical prompts and teaching materials. While three maintained a traditional grading rubric, four sections were evaluated with mastery-based grading contracts for A or B. The qualitative and quantitative datasets revealed that the Contract Grading Group was significantly more likely to perceive the workload and time constraints as less demanding. Additionally, despite a history of low grades, the majority (84%) fulfilled the contract's requirements, and the Contract Grading Group earned six times as many As and 2.5 times as many Bs as those in the Traditional Grading Group. Within this context, the grading contract reduced the stress of workload demands while significantly improving grades for students with prior experience with each requirement on the contract.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Assessing Writing
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Assessing Writing. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Assessing Writing, 48, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.asw.2020.100508
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? academic performanceacademic stressadolescentscontract gradinghigh schoolwriting assessmenteducationlinguistics and languagelanguage and linguistics ??
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Deposited On:
28 Apr 2021 09:30
Last Modified:
16 Mar 2024 00:58