Examining the silence of academic disappointment: A typology of students' reasons for not discussing disappointing grades with instructors

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Courtney N Wright


Although student-teacher interactions about disappointing grades can be beneficial, students do not always engage in them. The objective of this study was to explore the domain of reasons undergraduate students report for not discussing disappointing grades with their instructors. The data analysis yielded six main categories of reasons: utility of grade conversations, judgment of the evaluation, understanding of grade cause(s), instructor/relational considerations, student characteristics, and situational factors. This study advances the first typology of students’ reasons for not discussing disappointing grades and offers implications for instructional practice, theory and research. Study limitations and future research directions are also discussed.


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Wright, C. N. (2013). Examining the silence of academic disappointment: A typology of students’ reasons for not discussing disappointing grades with instructors. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(5), 46–60. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/3513
Author Biography

Courtney N Wright, University of Tennessee

Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies


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