Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 397-405

First online:

Does Learning-Centered Teaching Promote Grade Improvement?

  • Alison M. MostromAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of the Sciences Email author 
  • , Phyllis BlumbergAffiliated withDirector of the Teaching and Learning Center, University of the Sciences

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When the grade distribution within a course shifts towards higher grades, it may be due to grade inflation or grade improvement. If the positive shift is accompanied by an increase in achievement or learning, it should be considered grade improvement, not grade inflation. Effective learning-centered teaching is designed to promote student learning due to increased responsibility for learning, engagement with course material, and opportunity for formative assessments prior to summative assessments of course learning outcomes, which leads to improved grades. We suggest ways that faculty members practicing learning-centered teaching can collect and analyze data to support increased learning and grade improvement.


Learning-centered teaching Grade improvement Grade inflation