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grade inflation, grading rubrics, graduate nursing education, multiple-choice testing, online course



  1. White, Krista Alaine PhD, RN, CCRN-K, CNE
  2. Heitzler, Ella Thomas PhD, WHNP, FNP, RNC-OB


This retrospective, comparative study examined the effect of increasing objectivity of evaluation methods on grade inflation in a graduate nursing research course. Multiple-choice testing and increased precision in grading rubrics were added to the course. Outcome measures of student grade distributions for the course were measured pre/post course revision. Statistically significant reductions in grade distributions were observed after course evaluation method revisions were implemented (U = 4575.0, P < .001).