This week I had the honor of presenting a workshop on ungrading and alternative grading strategies. This session was sponsored by my good friends at the University Writing Program and the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education at ECU.
This session is part of an upcoming book group focused on Susan Blum’s edited book on ungrading.
The title of this presentation is inspired by the foreward Alfie Kohn wrote for Blum’s book. I was inspired by the following line from Kohn:
To create a culture of vibrant intellectual discovery, getting rid of grades is necessary but far from sufficient.
I started problematizing my current thinking around assessment as I was teaching my students about project-based learning (PBL), and we were reviewing this video.
The video identifies several core components of PBL: real-world connections, core to learning, collaboration, student-driven, assessment. Of all of these, assessment is the area where I feel like I was failing.
Kohn indicates that we need to grapple with curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and control in our classes if we’re truly to “create a culture of vibrant intellectual discovery”. I added the focus on being equitable in my focus.
My Presentation Materials
The slide deck for the presentation is available here and embedded below.
Video recording of the session
Some final notes
I am thankful to my colleagues and friends at ECU for giving me the chance to focus my thinking and make these ideas actionable for instructors. I will continue to unpack my thinking here on this blog as I explore these areas.
You can follow all of my bookmarks as I explore this topic.
In the session, I indicated that I use Hypothesis, EduFlow/Peergrade, & Flipgrid along with Google Docs and Google Forms to make all of this happen. I have guidance on Hypothesis and Peergrade available.
I will put together some posts in the future to help out with the tools I use in this process. Please let me know if you have specific comments or questions.
Cover Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash