Activity
Guidance and help, Setting the tone activities

Alternative Approaches to Grading

Maha Bali

Maha Bali

Mia Zamora

Mia Zamora

Jasmina Najjar

Jasmina Najjar

Laura Gibbs

Laura Gibbs

Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh

Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh

Arley Cruthers

Arley Cruthers

Consider different approaches to grading and how they can affect the classroom atmosphere and more!

Share:

ACTIVITY PURPOSE

Consider different approaches to grading and how they can affect the classroom atmosphere and more!

USEFUL FOR

Giving students agency over their learning and removing competition among students and the stress of grades on students and teachers.

PREPARATION

Lots. Think carefully about what your underlying values are and how you can make them work within your institutional constraints; think about how much you can involve students in the process and have those conversations with them.

INSTRUCTIONS

Watch the video above for practical tips, or check out the resources for several different alternative approaches. Arley Cruthers’ infographics are a good visual introduction; the podcast with Jesse Stommel, Asao Inoue and Maha Bali is a good auditory intro; and the blogposts by Jesse Stommel, Alfie Kohn and Munir Fasheh are a good starting point. If you’re up for a longer read, we suggest Asao Inoue’s books and the edited volume by Susan D. Blum.

DURATION

Variable depending how you plan to implement it.

ADAPTATIONS AND EXAMPLES

You can do it for an entire course, or parts of a course.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

N/A

USEFUL RESOURCES

Watch Video

ABOUT

  • Educator prep: High
  • Student prep: None
  • Synchronous, Asynchronous
  • No tech needed
  • Duration: Variable

This activity is one of a series of activities from Equity Unbound, focused on equitable online community building. 

Find out more

Do you have an activity that you would like to suggest?

Do you have feedback or suggestions?

More activities

Video discussion

How to Involve Students in Assessment: Interview with Natasha Jankowski

Course

Introduction to Teaching with Zines

Course

Engaging Students Through Screen-Capture Video Feedback

Course

An Introduction To Enhancing Academic Integrity

Course

Improving Feedback in Asynchronous Online Courses

Course

Self and Peer Assessment In/For a Digital World

Course

Enhancing Self-Generated Feedback

Course

Working with Flexible Assessment

Course

Supporting Students’ Use of Feedback

Course

Introducing Capstone Projects

Resource

Mid-Semester Feedback: 5 A Method

Course

Introduction to the VALUE Rubrics: An Authentic Approach to Assessment

Resource

3 Quick Feedback Strategies

Video discussion

3 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback To Students

Activity

Peer Review in the Classroom: How to Frame Your Feedback

Activity

Appreciative Inquiry (AI)-Based Feedback

Interview

‘Ungrading’: An Interview with Susan D. Blum

Learning path

Community Building

Video discussion

Deliberate Dialogue: Discussing Academic Integrity in the Classroom

Curated Activities

Guidance and help

Curated Activities

Reflective Activities

Curated Activities

Ongoing engagement

Curated Activities

Liberating Structures

Curated Activities

Setting the tone activities

Curated Activities

Introductory activities

Activity

Sailboat Retrospective for Reflection

Activity

Live, Love, Learn and Leave a Legacy

Activity

Roses, Thorns, and Buds 

Activity

Decolonising Academic Writing through Spoken Word Poetry

Activity

Origin Stories

Activity

Learning to Love

Activity

Getting at Metaphor

Activity

Checking in with GIF, Emoji or Meme

Course

Academic Integrity In The Hybrid World

Webinar recording

Identifying Plagiarism

Activity

Personalised Conversation Cards

Curated Activities

Warm up activities

Activity

Guess The Topic Mingle

Activity

Ikigai: Help Students Find Their Purpose

Activity

Something Behind You

Activity

Auditory Affect

Activity

Creativity Booster: 16 Squares

Activity

Creativity Booster: An Ode to the Other Hand

Activity

Creativity Booster: 5 Senses

Activity

Creativity Booster: Yes, Let’s!

Activity

Ice Cream / Broccoli: Reflection on Enjoyment and Value

Activity

Create a Fake Photo Group Assignment

Activity

What We Don’t Know About Each Other

Activity

Share Music and Create a Class Playlist

Activity

Would You Rather?

Activity

Creating Escape Room Experience For Students

Webinar recording

Preparing Students For Assignments

Activity

I Wish My Students / Teacher Knew

Activity

Using Metaphors to Express Thoughts

Activity

Using Dominoes in Teaching

Activity

Desert Island Songs

Activity

The Shape of You

Activity

Words From Your Names

Activity

What Can You Do With A…?

Webinar recording

Effective Video Feedback

Top Tips

Tips For Increasing Engagement In Discussions

Activity

Student Voice in Learning Review and Feedback

Activity

Choose a Plant

Activity

Which Picture Best?

Activity

Imaginary Buffet (or Potluck)

Activity

PowerPoint Karaoke

Activity

Office Hour Scheduling via Google Calendar

Activity

Tiny Tales

Activity

Cognitive / Exam Wrappers for Metacognition

Activity

Self-Assessment Tool for Social Justice in Teaching

Activity

Language Portrait

Activity

Lost in Translation

Activity

Wheel of Life for Student Self-Help

Infographic

The Art of Giving Feedback

Activity

Thick Greetings

Activity

Estimate Workload

Activity

Simple Metacognitive Activities

Activity

Tiny Demons / Drawing Monsters

Activity

Start / Stop / Continue

Activity

Survey Students Early in the Semester: Pre-Course Survey

Activity

Pass the Paper

Activity

Gratitude Journal

Activity

15% solutions

Activity

Two-Minute Paper

Checklist / tool

Trauma-Aware Teaching Checklist by Karen Ray Costa

Resource

Loglines

Activity

Appreciative Interviews

Activity

Pop-up Psychogeography Journey Journal

Guide

Choosing the Right Community Building Activity: Safety Tips

Activity

While We Wait

Activity

What Kind of Animal are You?

Activity

Two by Three by Bradford

Activity

Troika Consulting – Adaptation for Class Community Building

Activity

TRIZ

Video discussion

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy & How is Your Heart?

Activity

Tour of Where You Are

Activity

Third Places for Ongoing Community Building

Activity

Theatre of the Oppressed: Opposites

Activity

Theatre of the Oppressed: Image Theatre

Activity

Teaching Ethics with Theatre of the Oppressed and Liberating Structures 

Activity

Surrealist Free Drawing Introductions

Activity

Studio Visits

Activity

Structured Dialogues

Activity

Share an Object From Home

Activity

Room 101

Activity

Purpose to Practice

Activity

Pass the Ball & How Do You Make Rice?

Activity

Meditation

Activity

Wild Tea / Mad Tea Party

Activity

Introductions: Story of Your Name

Activity

Human Scavenger Hunt

Activity

Reviewing Your Assessments

Activity

Four Ideas for Checking In

Activity

Daily Creates

Activity

Critical Uncertainties

Activity

Conversation Cafe

Activity

Collaborative Storytelling

Activity

Collaborative Literature Review Matrix

Activity

Authentic Open Letter/Video Addressing Students

Activity

Asynchronous & Synchronous Introductions

Activity

9 Whys of Liberating Structures

Activity

Spiral Journal

Activity

Annotate the Syllabus