Alternative Grading

Alternative Grading

What is possible when we center student learning beyond the traditional grading structure?  Faculty here at UMass and across higher education have raised interest in alternative grading practices like ungrading, specifications grading, and contract-based grading that seek to answer this question and imagine traditional grading otherwise.  Alternative grading practices recognize that learning is not linear and prioritize growth and student agency through clear expectations and transparency, feedback to monitor progress, and multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning. 


CTL Book Club: Grading for Growth

Want to learn more about alternative grading in community? Join the CTL Spring 2024 Book Club on Grading for Growth: A Guide to Alternative Grading Practices that Promote Authentic Learning and Student Engagement in Higher Education This book provides an overview and introduction to alternative grading, including theoretical foundations and case studies from a variety of course contexts. Register here.

Cover of the book Grading for Growth

Meetings will be on Thursdays, 2:30-4PM. Register here.

  • 3/14 
  • 3/28 
  • 4/11 
  • 4/25 
  • 5/9  

To make the most of our discussions, this group will be limited to twelve participants and participants will need to be able to join at least four meetings.  

Register by March 7 to confirm your participation and receive a copy of the book. 


Alternative Grading Collaborative: Connect with community 

Attend a meeting of the Alternative Grading Collaborative to connect with other instructors interested in rethinking traditional assessment practices to prioritize student growth. Our monthly meetings will be a space to workshop ideas, troubleshoot challenges, and share successes in teaching with alternative grading approaches. 

2/16 - Register here

3/15 - Register here.

4/5 - Register here

5/3 - Register here.