Real GPA and Real SET: two antidotes to greed, sloth and cowardice in the college classroom

Peter T. Koper, James Felton, Kenneth J. Sanney, John B. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recently published evidence of limited learning among American college students confirms the damage done when students, faculty and institutions pursue interests that conflict with the educational process. The ‘disengagement compact’ in which faculty tacitly trade lenient workloads and grading for higher student evaluation of teaching (SET) scores and fewer complaints from students does damage wherever it operates. The work of Johnson confirms the link between SET and grade inflation. We propose a modification of an earlier grade index, the Real Grade Point Average (GPA), and propose as well an index for SET scores, the Real SET, to make inflated grades and inflated SET scores more visible. Used by institutions, parts of institutions or individual faculty, Real GPA and Real SET would encourage and protect faculty and students who offer or seek out educational experiences that have not been deflected by greed, sloth or cowardice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-264
Number of pages17
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015


  • Real GPA
  • Real SET
  • disengagement compact
  • grade inflation
  • student evaluation of teaching


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