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Faculty Forum on Canvas Tricks: Ungrading at BC

Stack of papers

In the October faculty forum, we discussed “Canvas Tricks: Upgrading at BC.” Ungrading provides us as instructors an opportunity to reflect on the assessments in our course and how they support student learning. Ungrading can be a bit difficult to implement as it can be hard to imagine how to actually ungrade when the system is designed around an A-F framework. In the faculty forum, three Renegade faculty shared their experience ungrading and actual examples of ungrading in practice from their Canvas courses. 

Jennifer Rachal shared how she uses grade declarations to prompt student reflections in low-stakes assignments. One important piece she noted was how she has used the grade declarations with more than 100 students and she only had to ask 2 students to make sure that they were actually doing the work. Watch this 7-minute video to see an actual example of a grade declaration she uses in her class. 

Jennifer Rachal on ungrading with grade declarations

Heather Shaffstall shared how she uses MasteryPaths to implement an ungraded, competency-based learning approach in her courses. She showed an example of a MasteryPath that provides students individualized learning opportunities and provides students the chance to learn from failure. Watch this 9-minute video for insight into how Heather uses MasteryPaths to ungrade and individualize instruction.

Heather Shaffstal on MasteryPaths

Angela Bono shared how she implements ungrading by trying to avoid unnecessary 10-point items. In her example, she highlighted how she breaks down complicated skills that students need to develop and scaffolds them in ungraded learning experiences. She highlighted the importance of starting small with ungrading. We can adopt the spirit of ungrading to make small changes to our courses that can have a big impact on student learning. Watch Angela’s 7-minute video on how she ungrades and scaffolds major assignments.

Angela Bono on ungrading and scaffolding major assignments

If you’re interested in reading more about ungrading, here are some helpful resources: 

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