Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Contemplative Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education


I believe we have shared goals for our students to become happy, ethical, caring, compassionate, independent, self-motivated, curious critical thinkers and lifelong learners. Decades of research on the effects of grades and grading undermines those goals. This executive summary presents just some of research on how grading affects students’ mental health, intrinsic motivation, critical thinking, and relationships with teachers and peers. Student survey results are included from a course taught without the use of grades.