Grading Policy

What is the Department of BPK's grading policy?

BPK Grading Policy

In BPK, examination of student learning fulfills many purposes:

(i)      it provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate and celebrate their learning;

(ii)    through the processes of preparing for, taking examinations, and receiving feedback on their work, it provides a learning opportunity;

(iii)   it provides a means for instructors to assess student learning, enabling the documentation and discrimination of learning achievements, and permitting the fair assignment of course grades.

The grading of examinations should be conducted in a transparent, fair and consistent manner. Grading should be equivalent between course sections with different instructors, across consecutive offerings of courses with the same instructor, and across different formats for the same course (such as between courses offered on-campus, and through the Centre for Online and Distance Education).

Instructors should make plain in the course outline the general means by which grades will be assigned (assessment format, general expectations, and relative weighting for final grades). Additional work will not be considered in lieu of grading criteria as outlined.

Typical grade boundaries and distributions for lower and upper division courses can be seen below. It is expected that grades will approximately fit a normal distribution, with discrimination between learners of differing ability, and that letter grades will correspond approximately to the percentage scores provided.

However, scaling of grades may be necessary, particularly to enable instructors to incorporate novel pedagogical approaches in their teaching and assessments that may produce unusual distributions of percentage scores when first implemented, or to ensure equivalency between courses or instructors, without unfair advantage or disadvantage to students. Accordingly, BPK instructors have the right to scale grades.  Additionally, grades are subject to approval by the Chair of BPK, who may require that grades be scaled, particularly in cases where the distribution of grades is not normal, or where effective discrimination between learners has not been achieved. For this reason, students should not assume that a specific percentage score will be always associated with a specific letter grade. In the case of scaling of grades, student ranking within a class will not be affected.

Further details on grading and the reconsideration of grades can be found in SFU Policy T20.01 (http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching/t20-01.html).

What is the standard grade distribution in BPK?

Table 1 Typical grade distribution in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology All grade categories should be considered when assigning grades. The percentage ranges provided represent those expected when effective discrimination between learners has been achieved. Typical lower division course mean grade ~65-76% (C+/B-) with ~5-15% D/F category. Typical upper division course mean grade ~70-80% (B/B+) with ~2-7% D/F category.