When Grading Is “Pointless”: A Case for Comments-Only Feedback

As educators who focus on facilitating meaningful learning and genuine reflection, we are painfully familiar with the questions students often ask that demonstrate anything but:

  • “How many points is this assignment worth?”
  • “Do you offer any extra credit?”
  • “Can you round up my grade?”
  • “What do I need
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    Letter Grades, Percentage Scores, or Points

    The importance of grades to students is difficult to overstate. The teacher arrives in the classroom with a set of exams and papers, and feel the tension start to rise. Eyes dart nervously from the stack to the teacher—will she pass them back now or

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    More on Fair Grades

    It’s not often I write a column and then continue to wonder about the arguments it sets forth, but that’s been happening with my recent “Fair Grading Policies” column. Author Daryl Close, a philosophy professor, makes the case that fair grades should be based solely

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    Learning from Grades

    We know how much students care about grades and how they respond when they get a grade they didn’t expect and don’t think they deserve. But are we clear about how students ought to respond to grades? What are the characteristics of a mature, mindful

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    A Memo to Students about Unexpected Grades

    It doesn’t make any sense. You worked hard on that assignment, studied long hours for the test. You’re upset—texting complaints and spouting off to friends. Why not talk to me? Let me start with some reasons why you should.

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