Date of Presentation


Name of Conference

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Date of Conference


Location of Conference

Panama City, Panama

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Modern Languages and Literatures


We’ve all heard the phrase “an A for effort,” but what exactly does that mean? What effect do effort-based grades such as participation and pass/fail homework have on students’ final grades? I argue that many instructors inadvertently inflate students’ final grades through the grading scale set forth in the course syllabus. The higher the ratio of effort-based grades with respect to performance-based grades, the more inflated students’ final grades become. Furthermore, effort-based grades have the biggest impact on students with the lowest performance-based grades.