UNGRADING report! Halfway through my first ungraded semester (comp 1) and I find I’m saying the same things when people ask how it’s going: 1/18 #Ungrading #ContractGrading #Pedagogy #DigPed #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter
My students report feeling “relieved” they don’t have to worry about grades, and I feel relieved, too: as I mentioned to a colleague, I feel more “settled in my soul” about how much freer I am to focus on giving constructive feedback. 2/18
Responding to work has been easier and quicker-- in the past, a not insignificant amount of time was given over to dithering abt letters and numbers (is this an A? Is this a B?--Thank god we don’t have pluses and minuses). 3/18
Instead of trying to pin numbers on the rubric sections, there are three wide categories: moving from left to right: not yet, satisfactory, impressive. On the side are aspects of the assignment, moving down from rhetorical awareness. Link to rubric: tinyurl.com/5xtb7a6r 4/18
Students have 4 projects they get feedback in a rubric /comments on drafts. They can revise as much as they want to until finals. We have 3 required 15-min individual meetings. 1st establishes semester learning goals and assesses progress, second assesses and re-evaluates. 5/18
During finals, students will turn in reflective portfolios w chosen revisions of old work & some new writing, inc a cover letter arguing for their semester grade. The 3rd meeting, after I get portfolios, is when we negotiate the grade. Thanks to @SusanDebraBlum for this. 6/18
Drawback: the middle of my rubric feels too wide--a number of students’ first assignments landed in “satisfactory” and I imagine that this can feel undefined. Yet I’m hesitant to create another column, as more columns become countable, like points, for some students. 7/18
Even w the rubric, some students still talk about getting credit for papers, as in asking whether they’ll get credit for a revision. Well, no, you won’t get points. Will it help make your case for a grade during our last meeting? Yes. 8/18
If I did a comprehensive review, I’d probably find I’ve been doing some kind of contract grading for years: contract grading necessarily includes transparency, which is deep in my pedagogy, as it leads to better learning. 9/18
Soon we’ll have a convo to discuss and agree on what the letter grades will mean, so we all know going into the third meeting what the parameters and expectations are. I plan this conversation to be interesting and fun. 10/18 #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter
I’m not sure what I’ll do if students miss the third meeting or don’t turn in the portfolio. Those who’ve missed the 1st have gotten emails asking to reschedule. I plan to ask my students what they think is the best approach. 11/18
#Ungrading #ContractGrading #Pedagogy #DigPed
But colleague had to go on emergency leave and I took 2 of their classes for a month, including grading a major project. Our comp curriculum is not standardized (other than dept outcomes). Teaching someone else’s class is SUPER WEIRD. Like wearing someone else’s clothes. 12/18
My colleague uses points. I'm struck by the tyranny of numbers--the anxiety of getting the number just right so as to hold off opprobrium. I’m struck by how I’VE ALWAYS FELT it’s such a fu&ed up way of responding to student work, but I’ve taken so long to get away from it. 13/18
I did my best to honor their grading system, giving rough number-based grades on the assignment, explaining to students that the grades were prob provisional & that the prof might very well adjust and explain. 14/18 #Ungrading #ContractGrading #Pedagogy #DigPed #AcademicChatter
Not having standardized comp curriculum is right & appropriate for many reasons, but a drawback is that you aren’t in your colleague’s mind, so responding to sts working in a rhetorical situation that you didn’t create and are unclear on assessing is . . . difficult. 15/18
My neighbor wildly decorates their yard on holidays, and this month’s no different. A number of life-size motion-sensor figurines stand sentry throughout the yard and cackle or scream with the slightest motion. Today is + windy and they’ve been screaming all afternoon. 16/18
I’m looking after the house while they’re away, so I decided to unplug a few of the noisiest ghouls until the wind dies down. It’s a relief akin to the relief I’m experiencing having moved away from traditional grading: the noisiest ghouls of grading are silent. 17/18
I’m sure more things will come up. I’ll update nearer the end of the semester. I'd love to hear your thoughts! #Ungrading #ContractGrading #Pedagogy #DigPed #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter 18/18
If you do a follow-up collection, @SusanDebraBlum , I hope you’ll consider “The Noisiest Ghouls of Grading ” as a title. 🤣
Something just came up: I have fallen behind on sending the meeting reports to each student (I promised to type them up and put them in the LMS for their reference). Doing this for every student is . . . alot. If you have ideas for how to streamline I'd appreciate it!

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More from @WeaverRew

27 Oct 20
This is a very necessary piece from @TheTattooedProf . I have thoughts! I teach in a “blended” format, and this piece about “hyflex” college classes is ringing my bells right now. Thread: 1/

Advice | Our HyFlex Experiment: What’s Worked and What Hasn’t chronicle.com/article/our-hy…
POI: The “blended” format means a blend of in-person instruction and online instruction. We’re required by state law to have some in-person hours (instead of go all online) and the school devised a cohort system to try to maintain social distancing. #highered #panicgogy 2/
We divided our classes into 4 cohorts of 4-6 ppl each (dep on room), w each cohort meeting once every 2 wks, most instruction & materials online. We can’t do hyflex: many students can’t do anything synchronous online & the school doesn’t quite have the bandwidth for it either. 3/
Read 18 tweets
11 Mar 20
I want to share some perspective and strategies for transitioning to online courses, based on my experience teaching distance-learning courses going back to 2008. Thread. #highered #digped #academictwitter #realcollege #edtech
I had students from all over the country and world in those classes, including on active duty in Iraq and other military zones. The first DL course I taught was a mix of ACTUAL MAIL and email (for students who were abroad). #highered #digped #academictwitter #realcollege #edtech
I came to learn that a student in the Green Zone in Iraq had a couple near misses (a CO and friends died). They had a hard time & I wondered how they managed to do course work (emailing papers / feedback monthly). #highered #digped #academictwitter #realcollege #edtech
Read 22 tweets

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