Rethinking Grading: An In-Progress Experiment

Excellent concept, excellent execution. Will try this next semester.

Just TV

Today I started my spring course, Television and American Culture, a class I have offered around 15 times. It’s the course that inspired my textbook (of the same name), and my co-edited book How to Watch Television also was structured to fit with the course’s design. In short, it’s the course that I’ve dedicated the most work to honing, and I feel that overall it works quite well… except for one facet: grading.

I hate grading. I hate how grades function in higher education for students, for faculty, for parents, and for institutions. I hate how grades often work as an obstruction for learning, rather than a motivation, reward, or neutral assessment. I firmly believe that, at least here at Middlebury, figuring out a way to rethink the culture of grades would be the most effective and impactful reform we could make. Such reforms are challenging and…

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