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With the increased complexity of the modern business environment, characterized by primary digital disruptions and constant market transformation, there is a demand for the imparting of quality education to the current generation. Consequently, education practices have become complex due to the need for a broad range of skills and knowledge for a demonstration of competence in the business world. However, the best method of adequately influencing learning and measuring a student’s competencies and understanding of their chosen career subjects remains a debatable topic. Numerous debates have stemmed from the discussion of the most suitable grading system, based on a comparison of the discretionary and the pass/fail approaches, in the school setting. Despite that both grading systems are effective in measuring student’s academic performance in the college environment, I believe that the pass/fail method is the most appropriate approach for not only assessing students’ knowledge and competencies in a given field but also motivating and influencing learning.
The college atmosphere ought to be by nature created to inspire the students towards the attainment of a higher degree of personal growth, knowledge, competencies, and discourse. However, the employment of the discretionary grading system not only discourages students who get low-level grades but also encourages competition in the school environment which might translate to burnouts and high exhaustion levels. On the other hand, the pass/fail approach exerts positive influences on learning through the promotion of the learners’ well-being and psychological health. As such, the method creates the conditions necessary for personal growth and a better understanding of their career paths.
The use of the pass/fail strategy enables the students to find motivation in the participation in class activities and other educational aspects rather than focusing on obtaining a good grade. As a result, they gain inspiration from mastering their area of study, contributing to discussions, and competing assignments which further boosts their academic performance and know-how in their specializations. Besides, the absence of competing for high grades enables the students to learn effectively without much stress which boosts group cohesion alongside minimizing test anxiety and the adverse effects of stress. As such, I believe that the final score serves as an accurate reflection of the student’s knowledge in the specific subject and as such the pass/fail technique can give the learner a precise understanding of their weaknesses and strengths.
On the other hand, the pass/fail approach has several shortcomings which can be avoided through the utilization of the discretionary grading system. The former method eradicates the competitiveness, found in the discretionary grading tactic, which decreases focus and encourages laziness. I also consider the discretionary grading system as more applicable in the real world compared to the pass/fail approach for it depicts the students’ accurate representation of their knowledge and competence levels. The latter method does not show how well a learner performed and therefore one is not able to know the amount of effort that they ought to exert for the realization of excellent performance.
Despite having a few limitations, the pass/fail remains a better measure of a student’s competencies and knowledge compared to the discretionary grading mechanism. In the current business environment, academic performance does not function as the sole measure of a candidate’s competence and potential contribution to an organization. I am confident that most employers in the modern world look for additional skills like the capacity to work effectively in teams and problem-solving skills which cannot be measured efficiently by use of the discretionary grading program. Therefore, there is a necessity for the shift to the pass/fail approach in the American College as not only a measure of performance but also a tool for influencing learning.
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