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Proposed Renormalized Grade Point Average Accounting for Class GPA

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Student Learning and Assessment II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1198.1 - 22.1198.17



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Paper Authors


Randall D. Manteufel University of Texas, San Antonio

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Dr. Manteufel currently serves as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas, San Antonio where he has been on the faculty since 1997. His teaching and research interests are in the thermal sciences. He is currently the faculty advisor ASHRAE at UTSA.

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Amir Karimi University of Texas, San Antonio

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Amir Karimi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate
Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He received his Ph.D. degree in
Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1982. His teaching and research
interests are in thermal sciences. He has served as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering (1987 to
1992 and September 1998 to January of 2003), College of Engineering Associate Dean of
Academic Affairs (Jan. 2003 - April 2006), and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
(April 2006 - present). Dr. Karimi is a Fellow of ASME, senior member of AIAA, and holds
membership in ASEE, ASHRAE, and Sigma Xi. He is the ASEE Campus Representative at
UTSA, ASEE-GSW Section Campus Representative, and served as the Chair of ASEE Zone III
(2005-07). He chaired the ASEE-GSW section during the 1996-97 academic year.

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Proposed Renormalized Grade Point Average Accounting for Class GPA AbstractA renormalized grade-point-average (RGPA) is proposed based on both the grade earnedin a class, as well as the entire grade distribution in the class. The purpose of the RGPA isto more accurately measure the relative performance among students. It is suspected thatsome students purposely enroll in courses taught by instructors that have reputations forbeing lenient, or easy graders, while avoiding instructors who have reputations for beingharsh graders. This study looks at 12 required upper-division courses in an undergraduatemechanical engineering program, and tracks 40 students through these courses. Gradedistributions in each class are compared over a 7 year period, highlighting the influenceof instructors who issue significantly higher or lower grade distributions on overallstudent GPA. High grades earned in classes with high overall high class GPA arediscounted while more weight is given to high grades earned in classes that have lowclass GPA. It is important to explore alternative methods to compute GPA, because it isan important factor used in decisions related to financial aid, scholarships, admission tomajor course sequence, and/or admission into graduate programs.

Manteufel, R. D., & Karimi, A. (2011, June), Proposed Renormalized Grade Point Average Accounting for Class GPA Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18867

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