Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education


The awarding of grades or marks to student work is traditionally considered a fundamental feature of assessment. Grades became more widely established in the twentieth century becoming ubiquitous across most educational institutions. There is increasing evidence to suggest that grades are not effective tools for promoting or measuring learning. One alternative approach for promoting and measuring learning is "Ungrading," in which no letter grades or marks are given to students. Instead, they are replaced with formative feedback provided through strategies such as individual feedback, peer review and self-assessment. An Ungrading approach promises increased learner motivation, a reduction in stress, and enhanced learner independence. It also helps to develop an improved teacher/learner relationship and opens up new course design possibilities. This paper presents a background to traditional grading policies to set a context. It continues with an introduction to the topic of Ungrading with a brief explanation and rationale for its selection. We ask the question, can Ungrading support a new pedagogy of care for the future of online education? The paper concludes by suggesting strategies for the effective implementation of Ungrading in undergraduate classes to support diverse learner needs.