Professor jennifer hurley

Tag: grading

Doing Less Better

A new semester is about to begin, and already I feel the overwhelm. I feel it in my body: a tightness in my throat and jaw. So many students, so many emails, so many tasks—giant and minute—to manage. As an introvert, teaching often feels to […]

What Makes Teaching Sustainable Is the Same Thing That Makes It Unsustainable

Recently, I’ve witnessed several beautiful teachers walk away from teaching. I felt very sad and also a little jealous. Imagine how free I might feel without teaching! And then there are the teachers who do not walk away from teaching but become more embittered with […]

Grading Without Comparing

In my system of contract grading, my students write a final reflection at the end of the semester discussing their learning in the class. As part of this reflection, they are welcome to make a case for what grade they earned, although it’s wonderful to […]

Is Throwing Out Grades Too Idealistic?

I teach composition, critical thinking, and literature at a community college in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over two years, my teaching has been gradeless, as much as my institution will allow. I assign no letter grades or point values to essays, quizzes, or […]

What Adam Rippon Teaches Us About Points

How can we measure the pure beauty of Adam Rippon’s figure skating? Is there a point value we can assign to his poise, his grace, his ability to evoke emotion on the ice? Adam Rippon did not have a high enough “technical score” in order […]

Vagueness: The Surprising Thing We Might Need More of in Education

Several semesters ago, I applied a concept called “Specifications Grading” to my composition and literature classes. If you are interested in alternatives to traditional grades, I recommend Specifications Grading by Linda Nilson. In this book, she explains ways that teachers can “specify” the requirements for a specific […]