Traditional academic pedagogies require that professors assign students grades in a system that creates hierarchies of power of professor over student. This system assumes that grades serve as an intrinsic motivator for students to improve in an academic setting. Many studies suggest that professor-assigned grades do not function as assumed. This article explores one alternative to the traditional system, known as ungrading, a practice whereby students assign themselves grades after a semester of frequent feedback and reflective assignments. This study offers a thematic literature review of ungrading in many disciplines and a small study of ungrading in upper-division art history courses using both quantitative and qualitative data to determine effectiveness. We posit that in ungrading, students do not inflate their grades and they do take responsibility for their learning in a way that returns agency to students.
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DiSalvo, Lauren and Nancy Ross. 2022. "Ungrading in Art History: Grade inflation, student engagement, and social equity." Art History Pedagogy & Practice 7, (1). https://academicworks.cuny.edu/ahpp/vol7/iss1/3