Target grades – a round up of research & blogs


Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much research on using target grades with students in terms on their impact on attainment, progress or motivation. Yet, there is a growing consensus amongst many teachers that they either have no impact (and are thus a waste of time) or could have a negative impact.

Some have pulled together ideas using some of the research that may link to using grades so I’ve pulled them together here for ease of reference and some possible further reading.

As usual please let me know of any that I’ve missed.

James Theobald –

Dawn Cox –

Ben Newmark in the TES –


Possible research links

Martinez, Paul, Great Britain. Learning and Skills Development Agency, corp creator. (2001) Great expectations: setting targets for students, 2nd ed.

Butler, R.  “Enhancing and Undermining Intrinsic Motivation: The Effects of Task-Involving and Ego-Involving Evaluation on Interest and Performance.”  British Journal of Educational Psychology 58 (1988): 1-14.

Butler, R., and M. Nisan.  “Effects of No Feedback, Task-Related Comments, and Grades on Intrinsic Motivation and Performance.”  Journal of Educational Psychology 78 (1986): 210-16.

Harter, S. (1978). Effectance motivation reconsidered: Toward a developmental model. Human Development, 21(1), 34-64.

Seijts, Gerard & Latham, Gary. (2005). Learning versus performance goals: When should each be used?. Academy of Management Perspectives. 19. 124-131. 10.5465/AME.2005.15841964.

Ames, C., & Archer, J. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: Students learning strategies and motivational processes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(3), 260–267.

Gorard, Stephen. (2005). “They Don’t Give Us Our Marks”: The Role of Formative Feedback in Student Progress. Assessment in Education Principles Policy and Practice.’t_Give_Us_Our_Marks_The_Role_of_Formative_Feedback_in_Student_Progress





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