As much as I don’t want to grade, we all know we still have to submit a grade at the end of the semester. I have now completed all of my syllabi for Spring 2022 and I’m going to take this post to explain how it works.
The bottom line is that every assignment or activity is worth one point and there are six points available for the semester. All of my classes have class attendance as one activity worth one point where they have to get to 80% of the class sessions to earn that point (and stay awake and off their phones).
My Introduction to Communication classes meet in person or on zoom once a week. The other five points come from three essays (each worth a point), the Discussion Board (do 80% of these and they get their point), and the Journal entries (again 80% earns them the point).
The Small Group Communication class was more difficult to convert to “ungrading” but I did it. They have two essays, each worth a point, chapter concept explanations every week (80%), a group test and a group presentation, each worth a point. If their group gets 75% of the answers correct, they’ll get their point. I’ll come up with a way for them to supplement that test if they don’t get that 75% but I haven’t figured out the details on that yet.
Major note: I don’t like really like tests and don’t subject my students to them in my other classes. However, I believe it’s important for my small group students to have some high-stake group activities in order to truly experience the group processes they are supposed to learn about. There is nothing that gets them more focused together than a real old-fashioned multiple choice test. Regarding the group presentation: they have to complete it at a basic level (more about that perhaps in future posts).
So here is how the final grades work:
The goal is for the grading to be transparent and in the students’ control. It’s not perfect but it’s what I’ve come up with so far.