Pedagogical Practices

This section describes the reportedly common pedagogical practices of fostering competition among students, and grading on a curve. Contrary to published descriptions of college teaching in science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines, Virginia's CS and Biology/Life Sciences departments typically endorsed cooperation over competition. Furthermore, grading on a curve was common only in a minority of the studied departments.

The following list identifies the survey questions that gathered data on these pedagogical practices.

Pedagogical Practices in CS Departments:

Endorsement of Cooperation and Competition as Pedagogical Tools

    1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree

CS Departments
Cooperation
Competition

1.2

4.00

2.25

2.2

4.00

2.33

3.2

2.33

1.78

4.2

4.33

3.00

5.2

.

.

6.2

4.33

3.67

7.2

3.63

2.55

8.2

3.20

3.00

10.2

3.50

2.63

11.2

4.00

2.00

12.2

4.00

3.00

13.2

2.50

1.50

14.2

4.00

2.00

15.2

4.00

4.33

16.2

4.00

3.50

17.2

2.50

3.00

18.2

4.00

4.00

19.2

4.00

1.50

20.2

5.00

2.00

21.2

3.50

2.00

22.2

4.50

2.00

24.2

3.76

3.16

25.2

4.00

2.00

mean

3.78

2.60

 

Percentage of Faculty Who Graded on a Curve

CS Department
% of Respondents who Graded on a Curve
1.2 0.0
2.2 0.0
3.2 0.0
4.2 0.0
5.2 .
6.2 33.3
7.2 26.6
8.2 0.0
10.2 12.5
11.2 0.0
12.2 0.0
13.2 0.0
14.2 0.0
15.2 33.3
16.2 25.0
17.2 20.0
18.2 0.0
19.2 50.0
20.2 0.0
21.2 100.0
22.2 0.0
24.2 77.8
25.2 0.0
mean 17.2

 

Pedagogical Practices in Biology/Life Sciences Departments:

Endorsement of Cooperation and Competition as Pedagogical Tools

       1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree

Biology/Life Sciences Departments
Cooperation
Competition
1.1 3.67 1.67
2.1 4.40 3.50
3.1 4.16 2.79
4.1 5.00 3.33
5.1 5.00 5.00
6.1 4.22 2.56
7.1 3.95 2.50
8.1 3.92 2.08
10.1 4.14 2.71
11.1 4.25 4.00
12.1 . .
13.1 3.56 2.11
14.1 5.00 4.00
15.1 4.00 3.50
16.1 4.00 2.65
17.1 4.39 2.37
18.1 4.50 2.75
19.1 3.67 2.00
20.1 4.17 1.80
21.1 4.16 3.42
22.1 3.29 2.56
24.1 4.74 2.37
25.1 3.20 2.25
mean 4.15 2.81

 

Percentage of Faculty who Graded on a Curve

Biology/Life Sciences Departments
% of faculty
1.1 50.0
2.1 20.0
3.1 41.8
4.1 33.3
5.1 0.0
6.1 22.2
7.1 0.0
8.1 23.0
10.1 0.0
11.1 0.0
12.1 .
13.1 11.1
14.1 100.0
15.1 75.0
16.1 0.0
17.1 10.8
18.1 25.0
19.1 25.0
20.1 16.7
21.1 58.2
22.1 22.2
24.1 45.7
25.1 0.0
mean 26.4