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Letting Students Grade Themselves, MSU Professor Looks To Humanize Learning

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One educator at Missouri State University is trying to humanize education with a new technique she says is helping students learn better.

Dr. Chloe Bolyard, assistant professor of childhood education and family studies, is is swapping out grading rubrics for more narrative, personalized feedback. She calls it “ungrading.”

Students are asked to grade themselves, an effort Bolyard says helps them gauge how much they’re learning.

“So, instead of trying for a 98 percent on something, or an A or an A minus, I want them to just focus on the learning. So, really trying to decenter anything that has to do with points, percents or letter grades,” Bolyard said.

Bolyard says educators at any level can look for communities online to help them decide how ungrading can help their classrooms.

For more information, Bolyard recommends starting with the book “Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What To Do Instead)” by Alfie Kohn.