Ungrading – is putting down the pen an A+ idea for post-secondary professors?

Ungrading – is putting down the pen an A+ idea for post-secondary professors?

April 12, 20192 min read

It’s a growing movement among professors – ungrading. There’s a popular trend out there that says teachers are spending too much time grading and evaluating as opposed to educating.

Some professors feel that students need to be engaged by what they learn and not necessarily fixated on the grades they earn.

In a recent blog post (see below) UMW’s Jesse Stommel showed how strongly he backs the concept.

 “There are a surprising number of faculty questioning grades in productive ways, and experimenting with alternative modes of assessment,” said Jesse Stommel, executive director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington, and an early evangelist of ungrading. “If, as teachers, we just ask students why, when and how they learn, what we can get back is way more valuable than any standardized assessment mechanism can reveal.” Ungrading “creates space for that kind of honest reflection and dialogue,” he said. - TaxProfBlog

The concept is novel and has support – but will it catch on? 

  • Will academia take a turn away from the traditional ways of grading?
  • What will students think and how will they measure progress?
  • And what about parents and potential employers who might rely on the old system when hiring or validating the costs of higher-education?

Jesse Stommel is the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies at the University of Mary Washington and is an expert in faculty development, digital education and modern learning. Jesses is available to speak with media regarding ungrading – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

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