Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2023


As five Andrew J. Mellon Transformative Learning in the Hu-manities Faculty Fellows in the City University of New York, we capture in this essay the dialectical experience of ungrading our community college courses with our students. Drawing on case examples of implementing un-grading in a range of courses and a thematic analysis of our students’ reflec-tion submissions of being ungraded, we argue that ungrading is an effective pedagogical tool for debunking a deficits-based, outcomes-focused perspec-tive that is pervasive in studies on and of community college students. Through various ways of building student agency, self-reflection, and feed-back into our courses, we find that ungrading increases student metacogni-tion and motivation while decreasing anxiety and stress. Despite the over-whelmingly positive experiences of ungrading that our students shared, we conclude with challenges and contradictions with which we continue to grapple.



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