Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Michael Retallick


Research on grading reveals that grading practices have not changed much since they were first introduced. However, educators are now learning about a newer grading approach that evaluates student performance based on clearly defined learning standards. Standards-based grading (SBG) looks to more accurately communicate student knowledge by assessing and reporting each student's mastery based on clearly defined learning standards. While still rather new, research on standards-based grading is limited and very little has been conducted at the secondary level. Even less research has been conducted on SBG and grading practices of career and technical education teachers.

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of high school agricultural educators in Iowa regarding current grading practices and standards-based grading. The accessible population consisted of 225 high school agricultural educators. Findings were based on responses of 157 (69.8%) participants through an online questionnaire.

Results of this study indicated that secondary agricultural educators use a variety of learning approaches and assessment techniques. Results also indicated that agricultural educators align their beliefs with their grading practices. Professional development opportunities were another objective of the study with results showing an inconsistency of topics discussed within school professional development. Results revealed that agricultural educators are unfamiliar with SBG and need more information in order to fully implement within their programs.

The findings within this study serve as a starting point and a building block to help agricultural education develop grades that will accurately portray a student's knowledge.

This study can also benefit administrators when designing professional development opportunities that provide beneficial learning opportunities on grading and assessment.


Copyright Owner

Jenny Ann Lichty



File Format


File Size

125 pages