An analysis of grades made in two required courses in political science in a major university in the Southwest

Date

1966

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Abstract

It was the purpose of this study to analyze the grades made by students attending a large, southwestern university who were enrolled in the introductory courses of Political Science during the fall and spring semesters, l964-65. Students attending this institution are required to take two semesters of Political Science preferably during their sophomore years. The two introductory courses of Political Science focus upon the structure, functions and processes of the national, state, county and local governments. Due to the large number of students taking these courses, a series of televised lectures has been developed to supplement the conventionally structured sections offered. Enrollment in the television sections necessitates the viewing of two, thirty minute televised lectures a week and the participation in one hour of classroom discussion a week. The majority of the data used in this analysis was obtained from the final grade sheets of the instructors teaching the various sections. Also utilized were the files of the testing and counseling center of the university in order to obtain all available College Entrance Examination Board Scholastic Aptitude Test scores for sophomore students enrolled in Political Science A during the fall semester. The analysis of data revealed the following: 1. A high percentage of failing and near failing grades was noted for the fall semester sections of Political Science B and the spring semester sections of Political Science A. 2. Variation among the distribution of grades given by the various instructors was evident. 3. Freshmen taking Political Science tended to make lower grades than the students in other classifications. 4. A definite relationship was found, to wist between the grades of the sample group of sophomores in the television sections of Political Science A, fall semester, and their SAT-Verbal and Total scores. 5. Also, a relationship existed between the grades of the sample of sophomore students enrolled in non-television sections of Political Science A, fall semester, and SAT-Verbal and Total Total scores. 6. There was no significant difference noted in the distribution of grades between the television sections and the non-television sections. It was felt that an analysis of this nature would be helpful to the department concerned in evaluating its present procedures and policies. Future studies were recommended for this department to determine if any of the findings of this study exist as trends. It was also recommended that other departments in this institution conduct similar studies.

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Keywords

Political science--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States., Grading and marking (Students)

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