Middlebury College has been engaged in ungrading professional development events for faculty and staff for nearly a decade. In addition to single workshops, presentations, and pedagogical meetings through CTLR and STEM Pedagogy Group, the college formed a “Rethinking Grading” Community of Practice. To learn more, reach out to the CTLR.
Middlebury College-Specific Ungrading Resources:
- Interested in Joining the Rethinking Grading COP?
- Ungrading Resources
- Other Rethinking Grading Resources
- Past Events
- “Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading: A Reflection on My Radicalization,” Priscilla Bremser, Middlebury College, 2021. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.
- Why I Don’t Give Exams (and What I Use Instead), Greg Pask, Middlebury College, Teachers Going Gradeless Blog, 2023.
Why Should We Change How We Grade?
- Podcast about the negative effects of grades on well-being
- The Case Against Grades A general discussion of grades and grading, by Alfie Kohn, Educational Leadership, November 2011.
- Graded on Looks “Study finds that attractive female students earn higher grades than unattractive female students do. For male students, looks don’t seem to matter.” Article by Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Education. Original study: Student Appearance and Academic Performance.
- Yes Virginia, There’s a Better Way to Grade “While we in higher education keep using it, our grading system is broken, argues Linda B. Nilson, and she offers some concrete ways to fix it.” 2016 article from Inside Higher Education.
- Infographic of the student perspective of labor-based grading.
How to Start Ungrading:
- Blog posts on the Why and How of ungrading
- Contract Grading + Peer Review: Here’s How it Works An article by Cathy Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Director, The Futures Initiative and HASTAC @ CUNY.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Standards Based Grading A blog post by Kate Owens, Instructor, Department of Mathematics, College of Charleston, on the American Mathematical Society blog, “On Teaching and Learning Mathematics.”
- “The Effect of Specifications Grading on Students’ Learning and Attitudes in an Undergraduate-Level Cell Biology Course,” Katzman et al., 2021. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education.
- Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom, Asao Inoue (2019). A book that provides resources for contract grading that can be adopted to non-writing intensive courses. Useful, also, for writing intensive (CW) courses across the disciplines.
- “Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?” James Lang, 2021. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Case Study for Shadow Grading (Wellesley College):
- Wellesley College shadow grading policy.
- The Effects of an Anti-grade-Inflation Policy at Wellesley College , Butcher, Kristin F., Patrick J. McEwan, and Akila Weerapana. 2014, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28(3): 189-204.
- Critique of Wellesley College’s anti-grade inflation policy.