Open Pedagogy Event (11/11): Ungrading

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Ungrading

Thursday, November 11, 2021, 4:00-5:30pm (Zoom)

OpenLab at City Tech is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Open Pedagogy: Ungrading
Time: Nov 11, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

*Please RSVP by commenting on this post. Please share this invitation with your colleagues!

As higher education continues to demand rigor and productivity from its workers and students, we’re concerned with the damage of institutional policies that ignore the material realities of many in the CUNY community. The harm of the classroom is compounded by ongoing investment in a “back-to-normal” paradigm without providing any material support to ease the burdens of grief, poverty, illness, and endless demands for productivity. There are no easy answers, especially as individuals working inside institutions over which we have little control. 

Ungrading and its accompanying strategies offer one way to mitigate harm. Ungrading is essentially student-centered and student-led, demanding that we engage critically with the power dynamics of the classroom. By incorporating grading policies that center students’ goals, hold space for critical self-reflection, and value the process of learning over a product, we can practice equity in our evaluation criteria, even if our institutional contexts strip agency and justice at every opportunity.

In this event we will consider the following questions:

Questions

  1. Borrowed from Kathleen Alves: Why do teachers grade? How does it feel to be graded? What do you want grading to do for you? Consider as a student and as an instructor.
  2. Grading rewards performance of knowledge over the process of developing knowledge. What strategies can we use to redirect the focus?
  3. Grades often reward students who have educational, class, racial/ethnic, and language privilege and penalize students without these resources. How do we as faculty challenge our own racist, ableist beliefs about how students *should* behave and perform?

Recommended Readings:

Goldberg, Jesse, Jane Guskin, Vani Kannan, Marianne Madoré, Conor Tomás Reed, and Dhipinder Walia. “A for All (Yes, All!): Transforming Grading during COVID-19.” Medium, 3 May 2020.

Inoue, Asao. “PROBLEMATIZING  GRADING AND THE WHITE HABITUS OF THE WRITING  CLASSROOM.” Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom, 2019.

Kryger, Kathleen and Griffin X. Zimmerman. Neurodivergence and Intersectionality in Labor-Based Grading Contracts. The Journal of Writing Assessment 13.2 2020.

Stommel, Jesse. Ungrading: An FAQ. 6 Feb 2020.

Photo “Abstract Backgrounds” by NichoDesign CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr

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