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Feminist Pedagogy

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Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education | Humane Education | Online and Distance Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


A few months ago, I began devouring information about ungrading with a fervent appetite. I started with the book Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What To Do Instead), edited by Susan Blum, and listened to just about every podcast where she was interviewed about this topic. I then read other books she recommended, like Wad-Ja-Get: The Grading Game in American Education by Howard Kirschenbaum and Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, and Praise by Alfie Kohn. Recently, I have become much more dialed in to the ungrading movement by reading articles from Teachers Going Gradeless and conversing with educators on Twitter and Facebook who are coming up with all kinds of innovative ways to ungrade, or take the focus off of grades so students can concentrate on learning. Over the summer, I taught an online course in a Master of Education program and did not assign grades. I was given permission to experiment with this ungrading approach by my chair and it was a good test group because the class was very small, only five students. The following describes the teaching approach used, student survey results and comments, and my reflections.


Originally published in Feminist Pedagogy and available at: