Working Group: Alternative Grading & Ungrading: New
Approaches to Evaluating Student Work

Traditional grading is often a challenge for both faculty and students. Faculty may feel burdened by the grading load, and students often feel stressed about grades. Two innovative responses to this challenge are alternative grading methods (which aim to change the power dynamics around grades to foster more attention to learning) and ungrading (which argues for eliminating grades altogether, or at least as much as possible).

At UVM, faculty have explored using specifications grading (a method of grading that directly ties grading bundles to the learning objectives met in the course. Specifications are set in one level rubrics for student achievement of each assignment.) and contract grading (which can mix expectations for quantity and/or quality of work to meet certain semester grades.

If you’re interested in changing the power dynamics or logistics around grading, join this informative peer-support group. We’ll meet every 3 or 4 weeks throughout the semester to share experiences and examples as we explore how new approaches can make a difference in our classrooms.

This group is co-sponsored with Writing in the Disciplines.

If you’re interested in joining, please fill out this form.

Inquiries about the group can be sent to