It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This: Alternatives to Traditional Grading

With the end of semester upon us, do you find yourself facing a mountain of grading?  Do you wrestle with the nuances and complexities of assigning grades?  Do you have concerns about how conventional grading practices might impact student motivation and learning?  Do you ever wonder if it has to be like this?

If you’re interested in exploring these questions and learning more about the ways in which some faculty at Georgetown are moving away from conventional grading in their classes, tune into CNDLS’ latest episode of What We’re Learning About Learning, Ungrading: What, Why, and How. Importantly, ungrading doesn’t equate to a lack of feedback, or skipping assessment in courses; rather, it centralizes the feedback instructors give students in place of the numeric grade itself. You will hear from Patrick Johnson, Associate Teaching Professor in Physics; Karen Shaup, Associate Teaching Professor in English; Erika Seamon, Teaching Professor in the American Studies Program; and Milena Santoro, Associate Professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies.

These instructors followed different paths to ungrading and don’t all practice the same techniques. In the episode, we hear what brought them to change their grading practices—the why of ungrading—and then the how, the nuts and bolts of their techniques. The conversations illustrate how changes can run the gamut from small tweaks to large overhauls and encourage students to turn their attention from the outcome of grades to the process of learning.

Listen to episode, and get in touch with us if you have questions or ideas about grading practices.