You are on page 1of 21


The Impact of Redo Grading Practices on Student Success

Kaitlyn Meador

University of Alberta

EDPS 445

Caitlin Fox


The present study examined the extent to which retake, redo, resubmit grading policies influence

student success. More specifically, the research assessed the impact on student academic

achievement, learning, affect and behavior. Participants included individuals current teaching

within the education system. Results of the completed online survey revealed that classroom redo

grading policies positively influence student academic achievement, information retention, depth

of understanding, development of responsibility and accountability, facilitation of growth

mindset and the ability of teachers to adjust instruction. The research highlights a classroom

assessment strategy that effectively progresses student understandings of the intended learning

outcomes while positively managing student behavior, without requiring the time and effort of

teachers beyond that of mandated class time.

Key words: Assessment, flexible grading, redo.


The Impact of Redo Grading Practices on Student Success

Within the field of education, the three most important interconnected elements

considered to be essential in progressing student learning include curriculum, instruction and

assessment. More specifically, the content of the learning material, the particular strategies

teachers use to facilitate student learning of the intended material, and the method used to assess

how students are progressing their level of understanding. As a result of the integral role

assessment plays in the progression of student learning, it is arguably one of the most important

tools implemented in the classroom. Every educator’s essential goal and true purpose is to

advance students in their knowledge, skills and attitudes towards the intended learning material

and assessment is a valuable method that gauges the degree to which that is occurring. This

evaluation of student learning provides teachers with direction and offers both students and

teachers information on what is required to reach the final destination of the curricular learning

outcomes. Although assessment is an essential instrument in education, there are many methods

in which it is facilitated in the classroom.

Closely related to assessment is the practice of grading. Assessment involves measuring

student learning againsts the specific learner outcomes, whereas grading requires an evaluation

of student performance and is typically associated with a label or indicator of achievement, such

as a letter grade, percent or descriptive word (Wiliam, 2011). Due to its relationship with

assessment and its evaluative nature, grading is an emotional subject with firmly held opinions

and a vast assortment of practices. However, the purpose of this paper is not to evaluate the

effectiveness of different assessment and grading methods, but to understand the impact of one

specific grading policy on the success of students in the classroom. More specifically, the present

research will consider redo, resubmit and retake grading practices where students have the

opportunity to reflect on an assignment or test submitted for grading, receive feedback on their

performance, make the necessary changes and submit the assessment again for full credit. This

flexible grading policy is about students learning from their mistakes and allowing them the time

necessary to reach mastery of the learning outcomes. In contradiction, traditional practices of

assessment that do not include a resubmit policy involve a level of finality for both the grade and

the learning, as when an assignment or test is submitted to the teacher it is often not addressed

any further.

To date, researchers have studied several important aspects of flexible grading policies

and the influence they have on the success of students in the classroom, the majority of previous

research having focused on student academic achievement and disposition. Specifically, studies

have found that academic achievement and positive student affect both increase when students

are provided the opportunity to redo assessments (Fisher, Frey, Pumpian, 2011; Wiles, 2013,

Wormeli, 2011). However, despite the extent to which researchers have examined redo grading

practices, there is still a gap in the literature due to their almost exclusive study of college and

university students. This is problematic due to the fact that post-secondary students are

traditionally high academic achievers regardless of implemented grading policies, and are

participating in higher education out of choice and desire instead of government mandate.

Specifically, researchers have yet to examine the influence of retake, redo, resubmit grading

policies on the success of students within their formal years of schooling.

As a result of this gap in the literature, the current research addresses the question: Does

the implementation of flexible retake, redo, resubmit grading policies influence student success?

Gaining an understanding of the impact that flexible redo grading practices have on the academic

and emotional success of students in the classroom is important because of the essential role that

assessment and grading play in the advancement of student knowledge, skills, and attitudes-an

enduring purpose of the educational system. The current study will provide a better

understanding of the influence redo grading policies have on student academic achievement,

learning, affect, and behavior.

Student Academic Achievement

Measuring student performance against the learning standards is an efficient approach to

use when considering the effectiveness of an instructional strategy or assessment method. Due to

the importance of student academic achievement within school and beyond the classroom, it is

an essential element to gauge when attempting to understand the impact of a teacher

implemented strategy. Previous research conducted on the relationship between grading and

student academic achievement has found that strict deadlines and giving zeros for late work,

rules typical of classrooms that reject a student redo policy, limit student achievement and

maturation (Wormeli, 2011). Conversely, allowing students the opportunity to retake

assessments to acquire a higher grade has been found to improve students’ understanding of the

intended learning concepts in both high-achieving and low-achieving students (Dueck, 2011;

Wiles, 2013). More specifically, the largest increases in grade point average were found in

students with disabilities and students living in poverty (Fisher et al., 2011). This is an important

finding as the implications of an effective redo grading policy include a reduction in the

achievement gap, therefore benefiting everyone in the classroom.


Moreover, when provided the opportunity to retake assessments to further enhance

learning, students display an improved level of mastery of the material, students resubmit better

quality work and students generally perform better on redone assessments regardless of working

in a group, the use of notes or officially setting a makeup date (Bacon & Beyrouty, 1988;

Schroeter, Green & Bess, 2010). Similarly, compared to students given the correct answers to

questions they missed on assessment, students that were given the opportunity to correct missed

questions reported performing significantly better on subsequent exams as well as significantly

higher final grades in the course (Brown, Mason & Singh, 2016; Rozell, Johnson, Sexten &

Rhodes, 2017). Finally, it has been repeatedly found that an effective redo, resubmit retake

assessment grading policy not only results in academic advances within the classroom, but

prepares students to succeed in higher education and life beyond their years of formal education

(Khan & Slavitt, 2013; Wormeli, 2011; Wiles, 2013).

Due to the importance of student academic success, it is valuable to examine the

influence of redo grading policies on achievement of the specific learning outcomes within the

government mandated curriculum of formal schooling years. This information is essential as it

will provide insight into the assessment practices that best support student learning.

Student Learning

Along with academic achievement, it is important to consider the influence redo grading

policies have on student learning abilities, retention of information and proficient demonstration

of the learning outcomes. Within the years of formal schooling it is essential for teachers to

instruct students not just on what to learn, but also how to learn and build constructive, healthy

study habits. Flexible redo grading practices or multiple attempts at mastery programs challenge

the traditional linear assessment model and encourage learning as a continuous process, allowing

time for all students to reach proficiency of the content instead of just the ones that can learn in

the uniform timeline (Stevens, 2013; Wormeli, 2011). Implementing classroom strategies that

stimulate growth in learning and encourage the understanding that it is never too late to learn

have been found to be very successful, in comparison to blaming or punishing students when

learning doesn't happen according to the arbitrary schedule (Fisher et al., 2011; Wiles, 2013;

Wormeli, 2011).

Learning occurs with student practice, descriptive feedback from peers and teachers,

instructional revision due to the information received on student performance, followed by a

repetition of the cycle until students reach the desired level of mastery (Wormeli, 2011). This

model of teaching and learning is exactly what the redo grading policy affords. More

specifically, the process of reiterative learning encourages deeper levels of understanding and

competence of the content (Wormeli, 2011). Providing students the opportunity to review missed

exam questions has been found to result in an increased ability to retrieve the information, and an

increase in long term information retention (Schroeter, Green & Bess, 2008; Wormeli, 2011).

Similarly, learning is enhanced by allowing students to the opportunity to correct errors and see

the connection between practice and their eventual performance on assessments they are

permitted to resubmit (Bacon & Beyrouty, 1988; Fisher et al., 2011). Furthermore, in a study

conducted by Schroeter, Green and Bess it was found that students provided with the opportunity

to resubmit an exam for regrading purposes reported an increased likelihood of learning from

their mistakes, compared to the students in the non-regrading group (2010). In conclusion,

allowing students the opportunity to revisit assessments and correct errors based on the feedback

received contributed to elevated retention of information, an increased depth of understanding

and a heightened ability to learn from mistakes (Schroeter et al., 2010; Wormeli, 2011).

Due to the significance of students’ ability to learn and the understanding that individuals

acquire knowledge in a variety of ways, it is important to understand the extent to which redo

grading policies influence student learning as they allow for students to be assessed on their

performance of the outcomes, instead of the route in which they took to get there.

Student Affect

In addition to the academic consequences of implementing redo grading policies, student

affect is significantly impacted by the implementation of such flexible assessment strategies.

This includes manners of confidence in the classroom, attitudes towards the learning process,

and presenting symptoms of test anxiety (Dueck, 2011; Schroeter et al., 2010; Stevens, 2013 ).

Experiences of student affect are important to consider as they significantly impact the ability of

students to learn in the classroom setting, where students perform better in classrooms of which

they have an optimistic perspective and attitude (Schroeter et al., 2010). More specifically, as

low-scoring students begin to see improvement in academic achievement upon retest of exams

they similarly report heightened levels of confidence and willingness to partake in subsequent

redo opportunities (Dueck, 2011). Of equal importance, high-achieving students report less

temptation to cheat when provided with the opportunity to retake exams as the pressure to

perform is reduced (Dueck, 2011). In congruence, students involved in a multiple attempts at

mastery program describe confidence in their ability to succeed in subject areas with which they

had previously struggled, satisfaction with their academic progress and contentment with their

academic potential (Stevens, 2013).


In addition to a sense of confidence, previous research found that in comparison to

traditional classes, students in classrooms that provide the opportunity to redo assessments

experience enhanced levels of positive attitudes towards the subject matter being taught

(Stevens, 2013). Providing the opportunity to correct missed exam questions results in increased

interaction among students, increased levels of communication between student and teacher, an

improved relationship experienced between teacher and student, and a higher quality learning

environment (Bacon & Beyrouty, 1988; Schroeter et al., 2010; Stevens, 2013). These finding

were evident regardless of whether the resubmitted assessment contributed to the fulfilment of

their final grade (Nickels & Uddin, 2003). Finally, students experience reduced levels of test

anxiety and correspondingly reported an increase in positive attitudes towards test taking when

provided the opportunity to correct exams through the process of regrading (Schroeter et al.,


Student Behavior

Another non-academic consequence to consider when assessing the influence of

implementing a redo grading policy or multiple attempts at mastery strategy in the classroom is

the behavioral performance of students. When considering the methods of which best teach

students constructive behavioral traits such as responsibility and accountability, there are far

more effective strategies than to label a student as immature or problematic and let that dictate

their learning destiny. Moreover, students that present unfavorable conduct such as

irresponsibility, inattentiveness and lack of effort require the increased instructional attention that

redo grading practices afford (Wormeli, 2011). Students learn responsibility, accountability and

self-advocacy when they are required to complete practice work and request a retest within

classrooms that foster a multiple attempts at mastery philosophy (Fisher et al., 2011; Miller, July

8, 2016).

When the grades that students receive on classroom assessments accurate reflect their

learning, students are more likely to rise to the occasion and put the effort in to meet high

expectations (Fisher et al., 2011). Within classrooms that allow students to redo assessments,

students understand the relationship between performed effort and desired outcome (Bacon &

Beyrouty, 1988). Similarly, allowing students the opportunity to monitor their own academic

achievements results in increased levels of motivation, and students feel more involved and

important in the assessment process (Dueck, 2011; Khan & Slavitt, 2013, Wiles, 2013).

The Present Study

In summary, the goal of the current research is to address the gap in the literature by

examining the influence of flexible grading policies on student success within the formal years of

education. The present study considers the academic, affective, behavioral and learning

experiences of students as per their teachers adoption of such flexible grading practices that

allow students to resubmit all assessments, not just conventional exams.


The present study recruited individuals currently working within the education system to

complete a survey on flexible classroom grading policies. Participants voluntarily completed the

online survey sent via email, and were afforded as much time as needed to complete the study.

After informed consent was collected, participants were asked questions about the

implementation of redo grading policies and their influence on student academic achievement,

learning and life beyond grade 12. Due to the high level of confidentiality, no identifying

personal information was collected.

Results and Discussion

The goal of the current study was to examine the ways in which the implementation of a

flexible retake, redo, resubmit classroom grading policy influences student success. While

previous research has considered the impact of redo grading policies, the present study goes

beyond this by assessing the extent to which student success is influence by opportunities

provided for the resubmission of all assessments in the classroom, not just conventional exams,

and by taking a closer look at students within their K-12 years of formal school instead of

post-secondary education. With regards to the examined research question, it was found that all

participants indicated that allowing students the opportunity to redo assessments positively

impacts multiple aspects of their success inside the classroom. This was investigated through an

online survey, and a discussion of the central findings is included below.

Student Academic Achievement

Participants indicated that the implementation of a classroom redo grading policy

positively impacts student academic achievement. The results of the study revealed that the

flexible grading practice of redoing and resubmiting assessments contributes to a increased

progression of student understanding and learning of the intended outcomes, as well as a greater

depth of student knowledge. More specifically, all participants agreed or strongly agreed that a

visible progression of student learning towards the outcomes is evident when students are

provided the opportunity to redo assessments. In addition, all participants agreed or strongly

agreed that allowing students the opportunity to resubmit assignments and redo tests results in a

greater depth of understanding with regards to the learning outcomes (see Figure 1). This is

consistent with previous literature that has found that for both high-achieving and low-achieving

students, having the opportunity to retake assessments results in an improved understanding of

student learning outcomes and the attainment of higher grades (Dueck, 2011; Wiles, 2013).

Student Learning

In terms of the impact on student learning, the results of the present study revealed that

all participants agreed or strongly agreed that the implementation of retake, redo, resubmit

grading practices in the classroom effectively stress the importance of the learning outcomes of

which students are afforded the opportunity to readdress (see Figure 2). In addition, numerous

participants specifically stated that having students identify where, when or how they went

wrong in their initial completion of an assessment and allowing them to redo it frequently results

in increased retention of the learning material. This finding is coherent with the previous

conclusion that providing students the opportunity to revisit missed exam questions results in an

improved ability to retrieve existing information and an increase in knowledge retention


(Schroeter, Green & Bess, 2008; Wormeli, 2011). Results also revealed that the implementation

of a redo grading policy contributes to students placing importance on and valuing

self-improvement and continued opportunity for betterment, while fostering an ability to keep

trying after the experience of initial failure.

Student Affect

The results of the present study found that from the teacher perspective, classroom redo

assessment practices have no significant impact on the experience of student affect. Despite the

fact that previous research found a positive and beneficial impact of redo grading policies on

student levels of confidence, attitudes towards the learning process and test anxiety, no specific

mention of student affect was made by the teacher participants included in the present study

(Dueck, 2011; Schroeter et al., 2010; Stevens, 2013 ). However, the present study did reveal that

allowing students the opportunity to redo assessments increased their willingness to take

initiative and try again upon initial disappointment, which may be associated with an experience

of positive attitudes towards the learning process.


Student Behavior

With regards to the impact on student behavioral aspects, the results of the study revealed

that all participants agreed or strongly agreed that the implementation of a classroom redo

grading policy provides students the opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and

further develop a sense of accountability. This finding is consistent with the previous literature

that has found that classrooms implementing a multiple attempts at mastery approach to

assessment effectively teach students skills of responsibility, accountability and self-advocacy

when they are required to complete practice work in order to request retests and redo

assignments (Fisher et al., 2011; Miller, July 8, 2016).

One particular finding of the present study not addressed in the previous literature is the

impact redo, resubmit, retake assessment practices have on the growth mindset of students. More

specifically, allowing students the opportunity to redo assessments fosters their understanding

that intelligence, ability and performance are not innate human features, but developed over time

with effort, practice and determination. Similarly, the results revealed that redo grading policies

encourage students to keep trying when they fail and put for the effort to improve, as mentioned


Despite the fact that all participants confirmed that redo grading policies provide students

the opportunity to take responsibility for their learning, develop accountability and foster a

growth mindset, the results of the study revealed differing opinions regarding the long-term

nature of these benefits. While some participants agreed or strongly agreed with the statement

that allowing students the opportunity to redo assignments and assessments is an important way

to prepare them for life past grade 12, others disagreed (see Figure 3). This controversy confirms

that while teachers understand that redo grading policies positively impact student development

in the areas of responsibility, accountability, and self-improvement inside the classroom, some

doubt remains of whether these characteristics are progressed to a level where they are

effectively employed by students outside of the school environment.

Teacher Productivity

In addition to participants seeing a positive impact of redo grading practices on the

success of students, they reported that the flexible grading policy has benefits for themselves as

the classroom teacher. More specifically, all participants agreed or strongly agreed that

instructing students to identify where things went wrong after the first completion of an

assessment informs them of where to effectively build supports for each individual student (see

Figure 4). In addition, participants specifically mentioned that the implementation of such a

policy provides teachers the opportunity to assist students in reaching their highest level of

learning and individual mastery of the content. This is consistent with previously conducted

research that concluded that requiring students to correct missed exam questions allows teachers

to see where students are struggling with the learning material, allowing instructional strategies

and teaching styles to be effectively adjusted (Schroeter et al., 2010).

However, the results of the present study also revealed that some teachers expect that

when provided with the opportunity to resubmit a test or assignment, it is the student's

responsibility to come in on their own time during the lunch break or after school to recieve help

and to complete the redo. This finding implies that in order for a redo grading policy to be

successful it requires extra time and effort from teacher and the students, in addition to the time

spent working and learning in class. Conclusively, although redo assessment practices provide

benefits for teacher, there may also be associated drawbacks.


The extent to which retake, redo, resubmit grading practices influence student success is

an important topic to consider because the goal of the education system is to progress student

competence and confidence in areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes. With student progression

and development as the essential outcome of schools, research conducted on the specific

strategies and policies that assist teachers in accomplishing the goal of student success is

imperative as we want to equip teachers with the best practices. By collecting information

directly from teacher participants, the present study gained a clear perspective on the usefulness

of classroom redo assessment practices in evaluating the effectiveness of teacher instruction.

More specifically, providing students with the opportunity to resubmit assignments and redo

tests also allows teachers to use student’s work to inform instruction and assess which teaching

strategies are effective. In addition, if teachers implement outcome based assessment in the

classroom, a redo grading policy allows them to see if students are struggling with the

knowledge required to answer particular questions, or if student difficulty is resulting from the

question format. It could be the case that students understand the content, but struggle with

multiple choice formatted questions, for example.

Furthermore, although the current research found that teachers spend their lunch period

and after school time allowing students to resubmit assessments, redo grading policies do not

necessarily require additional time and effort from the teacher. When providing students the

opportunity to redo assignments and tests, it is an effective practice to only require them to

resubmit the parts of which they got incorrect or did not demonstrate proficiency of the material.

Asking students to only redo parts of an assessment instead of completing it in entirety for a

second time, requires less effort from the teacher as they have to grade a reduced amount of

student work and it demands less additional work from the student. In addition, when students

are only required to redo parts of an assessment, they may be more likely to continue engaging in

the process as they do not have to endure the monotony of repeating assignments and tests

verbatim. Another strategy that effectively reduces the required effort of teachers implementing a

classroom redo policy is to intentionally pick your battles. As a teacher, it is important to have

proficient knowledge of your curriculum and only require students to redo assessments on their

level of understanding the essential learning outcomes. Finally, instead of taking time outside of

class when implementing a redo grading policy, it may be effective to schedule time in class for

students to receive help from peers and the teacher, and catch up on work.

Additionally, the concluded results of the research provide information on a classroom

strategy that goes beyond assessment to further connect with the behavioral experiences of

students. A classroom redo, resubmit grading policy can be utilized to address these behavioral

issues in a non-punitive way. More specifically, when students do poorly on an assessment

because of their lack of engagement, forgetfulness, inattentive conduct, disruptive behavior, or

negative attitude they can be required to resubmit the assessment instead of being punished with

detention, time at lunch or a zero for uncompleted work. Instead of punishing students for an

inability to demonstrate their understanding, redo grading practices hold them accountable and

responsible for their learning.

Finally, the present study provides insights into the ongoing deliberation of which

instructional and assessment strategies are most effective in progressing student understanding

and developing constructive student behaviors. The findings of the current study serve to inform

current and future teachers of a classroom strategy that effectively progresses students

understanding and retention of the learning material, develops students accountability and

responsibility, provides opportunity for continued self-improvement and aids teachers in

assessing their instruction and providing student supports.



In conclusion, retake, redo, resubmit grading policies implemented by teachers in the

classroom contribute to the success of both students and instructors. Although previous research

considered the impact of such flexible assessment practices, the current study contributes to the

literature by examining the success of school age students and the provided opportunity to redo

any assignment or test, from the perspective of the teacher. The findings of the current research

concluded that redo grading practices positively influence the academic achievement of students,

information retention, depth of understanding, associated student behaviors including

responsibility, accountability and motivation, as well as the teacher's ability to build student

supports. These results provide insight into the effectiveness of an assessment strategy in

progressing student understanding, managing student behavior and ways to reduce additional

effort and out-of-class time spent implementing student redo policies.

Within the education system, an essential element of the learning process requires

students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning material. Assessment establishes the

educational goals, and evaluates whether these intended learning objectives are being met. Redo

grading practices provide another way for teachers to effectively progress student understandings

towards the intended learning outcomes in a successful way.



Bacon, R. K., & Beyrouty, C. A. (1988). Test retakes by groups of students as a technique to

enhance learning. ​Journal of Agronomic Education,​ ​17(​ 2), 99-101.

Brown, B. R., Mason, A., & Singh, C. (2016). Improving performance in quantum mechanics

with explicit incentives to correct mistakes. ​Physical Review Physics Education

Research,​ 12, 010121– 010121.

Dueck, M. (2011). How I broke my rule and learned to give retests. ​Effective Grading Practices,

69​(3), 72-75.

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian, I. (2011). The Importance of Practice.​ Effective Grading

Practices, 69(​ 3), 46-51.

Khan, S., & Slavitt, E. (2013). A bold new math class. ​Educational Leadership,​ ​70(​ 6), 28-31.

Miller, A. (July 8, 2016). Do no hard: Flexible and smart grading practices. Retrieved from

Nickels, K., & Uddin, M. (2003, March). The impact on student learning of resubmission of

work and flexible deadlines. In ​Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the American

Society for Engineering Education, Gulf-Southwest Annual Meeting, Arlington, Texas

(pp. 19-21).

Rozell, T. G., Johnson, J., Sexten, A., & Rhodes, A. E. (2017). Correcting missed exam

questions as a learning tool in a physiology course.​ Journal of College Science Teaching,

46​(5), 56-63. Retrieved from

Schroeter, C., Green, S. V., & Bess, E. (2008). Do College Students Learn by Correcting Missed

Exam Questions?.

Schroeter, C., Green, V. S., & Bess, E. (2010). Second time is a charm: The impact of correcting

missed exam questions on student learning. ​NACTA Journal,​ ​54(​ 2).

Stevens, L. S. (2013). ​The Impact of the Multiple Attempts at Mastery Philosophy on the

Academic Achievement and Behavior of Elementary School Students​ (Doctoral

dissertation, South Carolina State University).

Wiles, G. (2013). ​A quantitative study exploring grading and assessment practices in the middle

school environment​(Doctoral dissertation, Northwest Nazarene University).

Wiliam, D. (2011). What is assessment for learning?. ​Studies in educational evaluation,​ ​37(​ 1),


Wormeli, R. (2011). Redos and retakes done right. ​Educational Leadership​, ​69​(3), 22-26.