What I Miss From Last Semester’s Contract Grading Experiment

Last semester I tried to finally make the hard switch to contract grading, motivated by a number of reasons. My motivations were good, and my policies had been gradually trending that way anyway, but (as I have explained before) the experiment didn’t go well, with a much higher fail rate than I’m used to seeingContinue reading “What I Miss From Last Semester’s Contract Grading Experiment”

New Semester’s Resolutions: Faster Feedback for Students (Spring 2020)

I don’t usually do New Year’s Resolutions (this year is a slight exception), but I do do New Semester’s Resolutions. I like the rhythm of fresh starts so regularly in academia . So let’s talk New Semester’s Resolutions this semester, Spring 2020. First, the philosophy of New Semester’s Resolutions: as teachers (and when we wereContinue reading “New Semester’s Resolutions: Faster Feedback for Students (Spring 2020)”

Algorithms and Class Policies

For years, I’ve used the same late policy: work accepted up to a week late, 20% reduction in grade, no questions asked. And it’s been a pretty effective policy. I’ve been criticized for it being both too lenient (“They need to learn deadlines are real!”) and for it being too strict (“20% off even ifContinue reading “Algorithms and Class Policies”

Imagine There’s No Grades

About a month ago, Asao Inoue visited my campus to talk about pedagogy and race; the room was packed, standing room only. Among his recommendations that day for addressing systemic racial injustice in education: Don’t grade. For most people who have been raised in most late 20th/early 21st century formal education systems, this seems impossible.Continue reading “Imagine There’s No Grades”

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