Spring Quarter Book Circle

Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)

Our book circle in the Winter Quarter considered how alternative approaches to conventional grading can promote student motivation and learning. In this Spring Quarter book circle, we extend the discussion—and warmly invite new members to join us!— by considering the practice of ungrading. To guide our discussion, we will be reading a collection of writing with the provocative title, Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead). Here’s a short summary: 

“In Ungrading, fifteen educators write about their diverse experiences going gradeless. 

Some contributors are new to the practice and some have been engaging in it for decades. Some are in humanities and social sciences, some in STEM fields. Some are in higher education, but some are the K–12 pioneers who led the way. Based on rigorous and replicated research, this is the first book to show why and how faculty who wish to focus on learning, rather than sorting or judging, might proceed. It includes honest reflection on what makes ungrading challenging, and testimonials about what makes it transformative.”

A book circle offers us a chance to gather in person or online and to inquire into practices that are related to teaching with writing. They are not meant to endorse a singular approach to teaching, though a good conversation can be transformative. Join us!

The book is available online and for free download through UCI libraries

We’ll meet four times over the quarter on Friday mornings (9-10am.). Participants can choose to attend in person (Science LIbrary,193) or via zoom. Coffee and light refreshments will be on hand for those who attend in person. Completing the reading for a given session is encouraged but not required. There will be no reading quizzes! We may choose to adjust reading expectations once we begin working with the book. We’ll also maintain a collective Google Doc where participants can share their thoughts, ideas, and insights at any time.

We will meet 4 times over the Spring Quarter:

Session 1: Introductory Sections (beginning to page 25): Friday, April 5, 9:00-10:00 am

Session 2: Part I: Foundations and Models (pp. 25-90): Friday, April 26, 9:00-10:00 am

Session 3: Part II: Practices (pp. 91-171): Friday, May 17, 9:00-10:00 am

Session 4: Part III: Reflections and Conclusion (pp. 173-228): Friday, June 7, 9:00-10:00 am