Ungrading as a Method for Deepening the Experience of Learning

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientElise Chenier, Department of History

Project team: Research assistants, TBD

Timeframe: November 2019 to April 2021

Funding: $4,100

Courses addressed

  • HIST 436 - British Columbia
  • HIST 330 - Controversies in Canadian History (Monuments & Memorialization)

Description: This study will investigate how ungrading changes the experience of learning, how it enhances learning, and what supports work best to make ungrading successful for the students and instructor. By eliminating the comparative and competitive aspects of grading, we hope to understand how ungrading changes the way students relate to the material, to themselves, and to each other. We would also like to understand if ungrading provides a better mental health environment for students.

Questions addressed:

  • By assessing their own work, does students’ relationship to that work change? If so, how? For example, is their level of interest in the course material enhanced?
  • To what extent and in what ways does ungrading impact student motivation to complete course requirements?
  • To what extent and in what ways does ungrading promote self-reflection and/or support well-being, if at all?
  • What instructor supports enable them to get the most out of ungrading?
  • To what extent do students believe changes in their relationship to the work, their motivation, knowledge of themselves, etc. are due to ungrading compared to other aspects of the course?
  • Are some students more comfortable with ungrading than others? If so, what differentiates them?

Knowledge sharing: I will apply to present my work with ISTLD, and I typically talk informally to my colleagues about my teaching methods. I will also present my findings at a conference and publish an article in a pedagogical journal.