In Fall 2021, I took my first steps into the world of ungrading. Inspired by Susan D. Blum’s Ungrading, I went fully gradeless in my upper-level Euclidean Geometry class. I gave only feedback on student work, with no grades on any assignment. The general plan was to have students describe how they met criteria for success that I laid out, include a portfolio of their work to support it, and decide for themselves what final course grade that led to.
Really interesting, thanks David! I think the board games analogy is accurate too. Important to remember that specs grading etc are still "games" to the students, albeit better "games" than traditional grading.
Interesting post! I'd be interested to hear more on your thoughts about the gaming analogy. I found a recent Ezra Klein podcast with C. Thi Nguyen to be an excellent source for thinking about games and (partially explicitly from the podcast) their relevance to grades: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-c-thi-nguyen.html?