The Center for Learning and Teaching Newsletter Teaching News

Author's Department

Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT)

Document Type

News Article

Publication Title

New Chalk Talk

Publication Date



The examination period is upon us. Students are anxious and faculty contemplate the “burden” of marking! The Registrar prepares to receive the grades and all students graduating or otherwise are calculating their respective GPAs and seeking to improve them. All this activity takes place at the end of each semester on each and every university campus the world over. What is its purpose and why do we give it pride of place in academia? In what sense if any does it relate to the primary objective of academic institutions, namely learning? Does the GPA or the letter grade awarded to a student reflects learning or for that matter any form of objective assessment and/or evaluation of what a student gained in terms of the other key objectives of higher education: critical thinking, self learning skills, ability to work in groups, understanding key issues in a particular discipline, etc.?