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Making Grades Meaningful

Grades are an essential part of formal education systems. However, a growing number of educators are rethinking their feedback and assessment practices. These individuals are not only challenging longstanding grading conventions but questioning the effectiveness of grades themselves. So what are the alternatives?

At NYU, some faculty (e.g., Dr. Bri Newland) have been experimenting with "ungrading practices" (e.g., authentic assessment, collaborative evaluation, peer feedback). Alexander King, an adjunct professor from the NYU Tisch Game Center, emphasizes classroom policies such as:

  1. Students get feedback on assignments, but no grades.

  2. There are no attendance requirements.

  3. Students fill out self-evaluation forms.

  4. Students decide their final grade.

And according to Professor King, the experiment has yielded very good result: Not only was the class more fun but all assignments from every student were done on time and were high quality.

Click here to learn more about Professor King's experiences with ungrading.

To learn more about ungrading and additional alternative assessment practices, feel free to contact the Learning and Teaching Nexus at



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