Grading Practices and Achievement Gaps in Political Science

10 February 2023, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


This study empirically tests whether existing recommendations to revisit traditional grading practices to promote equity apply to college-level Political Science education. Analyzing 90 upper-division Political Science courses in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, and Fall 2022, this preliminary study found no statistically significant impact of course policies, grading practices, individual instructors' characteristics (e.g., gender, contract type, seniority), the pandemic effect, course modality (online vs. in-person) on the DFW rates and equity gaps. Penalty for late work decreases DFW rates and equity gaps, which is the only statistically significant finding and contradicts existing recommendations for equitable grading practices.


achievement gap
late work


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