Thursday, January 22, 2009

The end of grading (Let the revolution begin?)

This article and discussion over at Inside Higher Ed of course reminds me of my earlier complaints about the failure of grading to stimulate learning. It's intriguing to see how much consensus there is across the academic community about the shortcomings of grading. At the same time, the discussion raises excellent points about the challenges of implementing alternative forms of student evaluation (narratives, for instance). Definitely worth a look!


  1. I wonder if part of the explanation for this is the simple idea that time grading takes away from time teaching.

    I've tried very hard to make comments on papers and such into "teachable moments", but realistically a very small number of students care what the comments say. Time spent preparing for class seems to get me much more bang for my buck (for the majority of students) than time spent grading.

  2. I've had similar thoughts myself. Students become motivated solely to earn an "A" and not to actually master the subject.

    Even worse, it has happened that my brightest students - indeed many who seem to learn the most - don't necessarily get an "A", and I've had students earn A's wo clealry have not learned much or thought deeply.

    Still, I want to keep grades - I think - maybe it's too many years as as student and teacher working with letter grades.


If you wish to use your name and don't have a blogger profile, please mark Name/URL in the list below. You can of course opt for Anonymous, but please keep in mind that multiple anonymous comments on a post are difficult to follow. Thanks!