A preliminary study of grade forecasting for students
Armstrong, Michael J.
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This experiment enabled undergraduate business students to better assess their progress in a course by quantitatively forecasting their own end-of-course grades. This innovation provided them with predictive feedback in addition to the outcome feedback they were already receiving. A total of 144 students forecast their grades using an instructor-prepared spreadsheet, and then responded to a brief survey. Of these participants, 29% said the forecast grades were lower than expected, while 6% said they were higher. Subsequent to the forecast, 47% of the respondents said they were studying more than planned, while 3% said they were studying less. The relative difference between the students’ forecast grades and their prior expectations showed no direct influence on subsequent motivation or studying effort. Instead, increased studying was reported by students who had experienced increased anxiety, increased motivation, or positive impressions subsequent to the forecasting experience, as well as by students who had received low absolute grade forecasts.