Alternative Grading Systems


Pass-Fail Systems. Other colleges and universities, faculties, schools, and institutions use pass-fail grading systems in the Philippines, especially when the student work to be evaluated is highly subjective (as in the fine arts and music), there are no generally accepted standard gradations (as with independent studies), or the critical requirement is meeting a single satisfactory standard (as in some professional examinations and practicum).

Non-Graded Evaluations. While not yet practiced in Philippine schools, and institutions, non-graded evaluations do not assign numeric or letter grades as a matter of policy. This practice is usually based on a belief that grades introduce an inappropriate and distracting element of competition into the learning process, or that they are not as meaningful as measures of intellectual growth and development as are carefully crafted faculty evaluations. Many faculty, schools, and institutions that follow a no-grade policy will, if requested, produce grades or convert their student evaluations into formulae acceptable to authorities who require traditional measures of performance.

The process of deciding on a grading system is a very complex one. The problems faced by an instructor who tries to design a system that will be accurate and fair are common to any manager attempting to evaluate those for whom he or she is responsible. The problems of teachers and students with regard to grading are almost identical to those of administrators and faculty with regard to evaluation for promotion and tenure. The need for completeness and objectivity felt by teachers and administrators must be balanced against the need for fairness and clarity felt by students and faculty in their respective situations. The fact that the faculty member finds himself or herself in both the position of evaluator and evaluated should help to make him or her more thoughtful about the needs of each position.