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Systematic review of grading practice: Is there evidence of grade inflation?

Donaldson, Jayne H; Gray, Morag


Jayne H Donaldson

Morag Gray


Systematic Review of Grading Practice: Is there evidence of grade inflation? This paper describes the outcomes of a systematic review of literature pertaining to the grading of practice within nursing, midwifery, medicine and allied health professions. From a total of 215 papers, 147 were included and data were extracted using a systematic data extraction tool. The focus of this paper relates to one of the emerging themes: the issue of grade inflation. The paper examines the grade inflation phenomenon: it discusses the reasons for grade inflation from a variety of perspectives. The paper reports on the suggestions made within the literature on how to control grade inflation, but these, the authors conclude, are not fully evaluated and should be adopted only where rigorous evaluation can carried out. It is imperative that evaluations include the usefulness, reliability and validity testing of rubrics or any other solutions to grade inflation that are adopted by clinicians and educators.


Donaldson, J. H., & Gray, M. (2012). Systematic review of grading practice: Is there evidence of grade inflation?. Nurse Education in Practice, 12, 101-114.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012
Deposit Date Jun 26, 2012
Print ISSN 1471-5953
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Pages 101-114
Keywords Nurse education; Grading; Practice; Grade inflation;
Public URL
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