Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Academia places significant weight on grades as a metric to assess how much students have learned (Beatty, 2004). As a form of assessment, however, grades alone do not provide room for feedback and further student development. This paper offers a new direction to information systems (IS) programs to improve student motivation and better assess student learning—motivational tiered assessment (MTA)—that we propose overcomes these concerns. A tiered approach to learning allows students to choose how much effort and commitment they want to apply and assesses students’ competence based on the performance outcome they choose to achieve by meeting a specific set of pre-determined specifications and expectations. We first explain how MTA works. We then delineate how the new system differs from the points-based grading system, which academia commonly uses. We conclude by presenting three class examples that illustrate how one can apply MTA across an IS curriculum.





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