The Faculty Council first finalized plans to implement a contextual grade report in 2011.
But Derickson said a group of planners — including members of ITS and faculty — concluded early on that a more realistic implementation date would be fall 2013.
Derickson said the contextualized transcripts will include the median grade awarded in a class, class size and the percentile in which the student’s grade falls for all classes with 10 or more students.
The transcripts will also include the schedule point average — the GPA of a median student enrolled in a student’s mix of course sections — and the number of class sections for which the student performed below, on or above average for each term.
Derickson said the change will only affect those students who enroll in fall 2014 or later.
Andrew Perrin, associate professor of sociology and former chairman of the educational policy committee, which developed the plan, said calculating GPA alone is a flawed system of interpreting students’ academic performance.
He said he feels that contextual grade reporting will help to combat some of the discrepancies between students’ grades caused by factors such as instructors’ grading styles.
“Information about how students performed relative to other students will be easier to figure out,” Perrin said.
“So it will provide better information as to what any given grade means on a student’s transcript.”
Perrin said he feels grade inflation is a problem at UNC.
“I think that’s been very clearly documented,” Perrin said.
Donna Gilleskie, an economics professor, said she feels the contextual grade reporting will help fight three issues with grading at UNC — grading equality, grade compression and grade inflation.
She said although the new measure will not directly combat grade inflation, she feels it will start discussion among faculty about what awarded grades mean.
Christine Shin, a sophomore pre-pharmacy student, said she wouldn’t be as comfortable exploring classes outside of her major under the new system.
She said she would be more hesitant to sign up for a class that she was unfamiliar with, like economics.
“My transcript (would) still have statistics comparing me to other people that may be (economics) majors,” Shin said.
“I believe I am a competitive person, but I also like to explore uncharted areas.”
But senior journalism major Taylor George said she thinks contextualized transcripts could be beneficial and fair.
“The time and effort required to get an A in one course can be a fraction of the time and effort required to get an A in another.
“I think it could have a significant effect on people applying for graduate school ... for better or for worse.”