When grading, I often refer to this sample grading guideline developed by Gerald Gillmore, Former Director of the UW Office of Educational Assessment. I use it as a way to think about what grades mean, and as a way to check the grades I’ve assigned. I think it gives a good description of what a certain number grade means. For example, work that is good but needs some work is not 4.0 or even 3.5, but more in the 2.9 – 3.1 range. Work that is satisfactory—it gets the job done, but not much more than that—is in the mid 2’s.
Looking at the guideline will help you understand what I mean by a certain grade. I think it can help avoid some of the stress around grading that students sometimes experience because their expectations or understanding of the grades is different from the instructor’s. Please look it over and if you are concerned about a grade check this table first to see what I want the number to say to you.