4
$\begingroup$

After seeing no direct responses to this question, I'll instead be more direct myself. Ungrading is a buzzword being tossed about for assessing students' progress without focusing on quantitative feedback or letter grades, but instead emphasizing students' reflect on their own learning progress. Much of the discussion around ungrading is from instructors in the humanities. But math is different. At the very least, it's much tougher for students to assess their own correct understanding and learning progress in math.

How must the usual ideas of ungrading be adapted to work in a math class? How would the structure of a math class where the students receive no quantitative feedback have to differ from such a class in the humanities? Answers to this question certainly depend on the maturity of the students, so let's focus on undergraduate college students. For more information on ungrading, check out Jesse Stommel's How to Ungrade or Alfie Kohn's The Case Against Grades.

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ Not going to leave this as an answer, because it wouldn't be taken seriously. Imagine a "math monastery" where people interested in mathematics go to live simple lives and contemplate great mathematical mysteries. Imagine that in such a place, the results obtained are not what matter, but ones persistence and the quality of ones interactions with others. In such a place, there would be no need for grading or assessment of any kind. Just natural sharing of ideas, and recording observations for the generation to follow. $\endgroup$ – Steven Gubkin Jun 3 '20 at 18:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user1027 About (1) I've gotten the opposite impression. Ideally, yes, but in my experience once students arrive at an answer, many don't take the moment to stop and ask, is this correct? Like, they're not consciously thinking about their (lack of) understanding. $\endgroup$ – Mike Pierce Jun 3 '20 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ @StevenGubkin I don't see how that thought addresses my question … $\endgroup$ – Mike Pierce Jun 3 '20 at 21:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It seems that mastery- or standards-based grading is related, and by a stretch almost a form of ungrading. Students can assess their progress by the topics that they've mastered. There is "grading" of the questions that demonstrate mastery, but that is not quite the same as assigning letter grades at the end of the course. $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Jun 4 '20 at 0:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.