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Resources on Alternative Grading

  • What is Ungrading?: An overview from Duke University of ungrading. Discusses some of the potential drawbacks of alternative grading practices.
  • Unmaking the Grade: In this blog, Emily Pitts Donahue walks readers through her ungrading process, reflects on lessons learned, shares student perspectives on ungrading, and provides detailed descriptions of her “progress tracker” to help students keep track of how they're doing throughout the semester.
  • Ungrading: An Introduction: Jesse Stommel's blog provides a brief history of grading, describes the downsides of assigning grades, addresses equity issues in grading, outlines a few different approaches to assessing student learning, gives a few tips that faculty can use right away to move towards ungrading, and provides an FAQ for ungrading.
  • Grading for Growth: This blog by math professors David Clark and Robert Talbert is focused entirely on alternative grading methods, including ungrading, specifications grading, and standards-based grading. In posts throughout the academic year, the authors describe grading research, how they have approached grading, and what has and has not worked well.
  • Tips for Teaching Professors: Specs Grading: This post from Breana Bayraktar provides a definition of specifications grading and gives detailed examples of how faculty in different disciplines might implement the practice.
  • Grading for Equity: Provides an online course on equitable grading practices, community book study sessions for the book Grading for Equity, a quiz to assess your own grading practices, teacher stories, and articles about equitable grading. Focused more on K-12, but includes elements that are relevant to grading practices in the college classroom.
  • Grading with Mastery-Based Testing (MBT): A resource developed by two math faculty at the Colorado School of Mines on an alternative approach to grading that centers growth, reduces stress, and emphasizes attainment of concrete learning outcomes. The resource outlines the benefits of MBT and provides implementation ideas, tips for getting started, answers to FAQs, data on student experiences, and a student testimonial video.

Books for Further Reading

The following books are all available for borrowing from the CTLA Lending Library.