Here are some beginning reflection questions to consider when you’re contemplating whether to ungrade in your classroom.
Thinking through the assessments we give in our courses:
- What do you hope your students will take away from these assignments/assessments as a whole?
- What do you hope your students will take away from each assignment/assessment?
- How do you hope your students will interpret your evaluation of these assignments/assessments?
- Are there any assignments/assessments that you could grade binarily or without a percentage based scale?
- Are there any assignments/assessments for which you could eliminate grading altogether?
- For those assignments/assessments you mentioned in #5, will you give feedback individually or as a class? Would peer evaluation be useful here?
Introductions to ungrading:
UCI Ungrading Introduction: https://youtu.be/O-soa6F7hkM
Open CoLab Webinar – https://colab.plymouthcreate.net/resource/ungrading-webinar/
Asao Inoue’s Grading history blogs are an awesome place to begin your journey: (1) Where does grading come from?; (2) Why does conventional grading feel so unfair?; (3) Do grades help students learn in classrooms?; (4) What is a labor-based grading system and how will it produce a final course grade in a writing course?; (5) What does a labor-based grading system afford you as a student and learner in a writing course?
On why you’d ungrade:
Stommel, J. (2017 October 26). Why I don’t grade [Blog Post].
Blum, S. (2017 November 14). Ungrading. Inside Higher Ed.
Stommel, J. (2021 June 2). Grades are dehumanizing; Ungrading is no simple solution [Talk Transcript].
Morris, S. M. (2021 June 9). When we talk about grades, we are talking about people [Talk Transcript].
What evaluative practices are under the umbrella term ungrading:
Dr. Renée Link and Courtney discuss specifications grading in large (1k+) lecture and lab courses and things anyone considering alternative assessment should know.
UCI mini-seminars on Mastery, Specs, and Ungrading – https://tea.dtei.uci.edu/mini-seminars/
Variations in Implementation of Specifications Grading in STEM Courses (covers Chem, Phys, Math, etc.) – https://go.rutgers.edu/x8yb0jl9
Labor-Based Contracts blogs (also listed above) – What is a labor-based grading system and how will it produce a final course grade in a writing course?, What does a labor-based grading system afford you as a student and learner in a writing course?
Contract Grading and Peer Review – https://www.hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/2015/08/16/getting-started-6-contract-grading-and-peer-review
On how you can ungrade:
Stommel, J. (2018 March 11). How to ungrade [Blog post].
Gibbs, L. (n.d.). Anatomy of an Online Course [Blog post].
Sorensen-Unruh, C. (2019 February 10). Ungrading: A Series (Part 1) [Blog post].
Blum, S. (2020). Ungrading: Why rating students undermines learning (and what to do instead). West Virginia University Press.
More information on ungrading (bibliographies, FAQ, etc.):
Teaching in Higher Ed podcasts on Ungrading: https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/ungrading/, https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/how-to-ungrade/, https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/antiracist-writing-assessment-ecologies/,
Stommel, J. (2020 March 3). Ungrading: A bibliography [Blog Post].
Stommel, J. (2020 February 6). Ungrading: An FAQ [Blog Post].
Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Ungrading Bibliography