What Makes an “A” Student?

Application Assignment 3: What Makes an “A” Student?

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  • Table 6 Behavioral dimensions of grades and characteristics of outstanding and average students.pdf (84.018 KB)

Application Assignment 3 is “What Makes an ‘A’ Student?”

Wirth and Perkins write, “It’s not that it isn’t important to learn some facts while in college; these will likely be necessary for future employment. More important though is having the skill to learn on one’s own after leaving college. This single, most-important skill will empower you for a lifetime and should be one of your highest priorities for attending college.”

Using the preceding quote as a framework and theattached Table 6 as a guide, Application Assignment 3 explores the characteristics of “A” and “C” students and provides you the opportunity to assess and reflect on your learning behaviors.


  • Review attached Table 6, which is from the Wirth and Perkins article in this week’s reading. This chart lists nine behavioral dimensions and delineates corresponding behaviors of both “A” (outstanding) students and “C” (average) students for each dimension.
  • Assess your behaviors in each of the nine dimensions on Table 6. Are your behaviors closer to those of an “A” student or a “C” student? (For this assignment, grades of B are not permitted.) Explain your reasoning for each of the nine “grades” you assign and be sure to support your designations with specific examples of your behavior. Note: This exercise does not concern itself with actual grades earned. In fact, you are discouraged from reporting actual grades. Instead, focus on how you behave as a student.
  • Note: Please do not simply highlight your selection for each behavior. Similarly, do not merely copy and paste the text from Table 6. Your goal in each application assignment is to demonstrate critical thinking skills and writing skills. Therefore, demonstrate as much original thinking as possible in your writing.
  • To compose your assignment, list the first behavior (Attendance-commitment) and then the letter grade that you assign yourself.
  • Underneath this behavioral listing with grade assignment, offer your rationale for the grade assignment, based on your critical thinking and offering examples of your behavior, that substantiate your grade assignment.After you have assigned a letter grade and written your rationale for each of the nine behavioral areas, reflect on your self-assessment.
  • Reflect on your self-assessment and discuss the following. In a paragraph format consider the following. Is there a difference between your self-assessment and actual progress you are making this term? Have you rated yourself an “A” student even though you have demonstrated behaviors of a “C” student? If applicable, what might help explain the gap between your perception and your performance? Discuss a few dimensions in which you can demonstrate more behaviors that are characteristic of “A” students. Even if you assigned yourself an “A” in some dimensions, are there actions or activities you could be doing differently to improve your behavior as a student?

Important note: There are no right or wrong answers so please respond candidly. Remember, we are all developing learners. This assignment simply asks you honestly to assess your behaviors and then reflect on possible areas for improvement.

In all of the application assignments you will complete this semester, be thoughtful and think critically. Strive to hit the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives (application, analysis, evaluation, and creativity or synthesis).

Your assignment should be written in narrative format and should be no less than one page. You may use a table to organize your self-assessment, but please write the explanations in complete sentences.


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