stack of pencils

Ungrading offers a range of intellectual, personal, and social benefits.

Intellectual Benefits

  • Encourages a growth mindset that can help students take agency in their learning
  • Removes the threat of “getting it wrong” or getting a “bad grade,” thus freeing students to take more risks and engage in more creative thinking
  • Studies show that students tend to do more and higher-quality work in an ungrading system than they do in a traditionally graded system

Personal Benefits

  • Reduces grade-related stress and encourages greater internal motivation, promoting student well-being
  • Places greater responsibility on students for recognizing the quality and value of their learning, particularly when self-evaluation or peer-evaluation are involved
  • Separates grades from students’ notions of self-worth and identity; without grades, they are no longer an “A student” or a “C student,” allowing students to develop healthier bases for their self-esteem and motivation

Social Benefits

  • Helps to offset inequities among students arising from socioeconomic, racial, gender, and other social forms of difference
  • Reduces competitiveness among students, improving classroom climate and facilitating more mutually supportive classroom communities
  • Highlights the power dynamics involved in any assessment system, and can foster dialogue about what makes a grading system just or unjust

<Return to previous section

Next Section: Principles of Ungrading Practice>