Author

Amy Hasinoff

Amy Hasinoff
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Final reflections on my year as a faculty fellow

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The ungrading community My year as a faculty fellow has been a time of experimentation, professional growth, and community building. While I didn’t know it when I first applied to be a faculty fellow, the DPL conference in Vancouver sent me in a completely new direction in developing my pedagogy. Over the past year, I’ve explored ways to assess students without assigning them grades...

“Beyond Grading” workshop recap

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On March 9, more than two dozen faculty members and staff from around CU Denver and beyond gathered for a one-day workshop on rethinking grading. We began the day by discussing, “What is the purpose of grades?” and “What are the drawbacks of grades?” Then, Jesse Stommel joined us via Zoom to talk about his experiences not-grading, and answered a lot of audience questions...

Progress report: Alternative assessment

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As a ThinqStudio fellow, I’ve been exploring assessment. When I attended DPL this summer, I discovered a new interest that has become the focus of my work as a fellow this year: rethinking assessment. I’ve long been dissatisfied with the process and effects of assigning and justifying grades. And I’m not the only one; people have been finding that grades can be ineffective...

Capitalism and grading

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If we want our pedagogy to foster critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, then I’m increasingly convinced that traditional grading may be holding us back. In a recent review of Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials, Winant explains the author’s view of the relationship between education and neoliberal capitalism: Harris finds the world of childhood...

Experiments in self-assessment

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This semester, I’ve been experimenting with self-assessment. Students in my undergraduate 4000-level online course submit weekly self-assessments in which they fill out a chart proposing the number of points they think they’ve earned on their activities that week and they write a paragraph-long reflection of what they’ve learned and how they plan to improve. So far, it’s...

Join the “Hacking Assessment” book club

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Are you interested in thinking about how to spend more time on student feedback and less on assigning and justifying grades? Please consider joining the Thinq.Studio book club for Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School. While the book is aimed at K12 teachers, we’ll be talking about how to apply and develop its insights for higher ed. Please email amy...

What happens when you replace grades with a set of requirements?

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This weekend the NYT had a story about an alternative assessment model called mastery-based learning: “A New Kind of Classroom: No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry.” Here’s how the article describes it: At M.S. 442, students are encouraged to focus instead on mastering a set of grade-level skills, like writing a scientific hypothesis or identifying themes in a story, moving to the...

Getting away from grades: Student self-assessment

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At DPL Vancouver after lunch one day, some colleagues and I had a great conversation with Kris Shaffer about grading. Many of us agreed that grading was one of our biggest challenges as teachers. We all talked about how the process of assigning (and justifying) grades seems to take our time and energy away from giving students meaningful and productive feedback. After years of traditional...

Stories of teaching and change, part 3

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Story 3: “I still remember the day I learned that history is not progress. It was a history class about the Middle East, covering the decline of the Ottoman Empire. We read a social history book about that era that went into a lot of detail about the human suffering at the time. At one point in the discussion, I said very earnestly, “Well, at least in the long run, things always get better...

Stories of teaching and change, part 2

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Here’s the second story in response to the prompt, “tell me about a time a teaching/learning experience changed how you thought about something?” “I started my undergraduate education with an interest in human behavior, from a very biological perspective. I had read Desmond Morris’ books in high school, and he makes all these very detailed observations about human behavior...

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Fri 30

WORKSHOP: Finding the MERIT in Digital Education

November 30 @ 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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