Ungrading: a radical old idea, picking up steam

Transformative Learning | Strategy 11: Education Renewal
Theme: Collaboration
Photo credit: Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

Edubytes, the monthly newsletter published by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), recently explored the concept of “Ungrading” in their March 2022 edition.

Ungrading is an approach that seeks to direct academic focus away from competitive grading and engages with students through feedback-oriented learning, where students are inspired to explore and take ownership over their learning process. Removing competitive pressure from the classroom has been shown to lessen stress on students, while increasing their desire to learn and motivation to take risks.

Instructors often reflect that their shift to ungrading has resulted in greater satisfaction and better learning among students. Dr. Celeste Leander, Professor of Teaching, Departments of Botany and Zoology; Academic Director, First Year Experience, started ungrading her courses in 2018 and saw positive feedback from students. She wrote about her experience of ungrading on her blog: Why I Ungrade, and a How-To Primer, and Ungrading: an interview with 2 students and 1 professor.

CTLT has compiled a collection of resources in their March newsletter, which can help curious readers learn more about ungrading and the conversations taking place within the academic community on this topic.

To read the newsletter, visit the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) website.

Under Strategy 11: Education Renewal, the university is supporting faculty in the ongoing integration of evidence-informed pedagogies into their classrooms, and encouraging innovations that have the potential to improve upon traditional learning approaches.