MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Brighton TCC: Follow-up to Grading Conversation--How can we Motivate our Students Better?

At the end of our TCC Conversation about grading, we looked at research and discussed the negative impact of grades on student motivation.  We ended with the question:  if faculty didn’t use grades, what might it look like for our students?

After my first year teaching at MCC, I was desperately trying to find ways to increase student motivation, independence and self-awareness in my classes.  I got advice from “Punished by Rewards” author, Alfie Kohn, that, if possible, I should take grades off the table—so that students were learning for learning’s sake rather than for a grade. 

That advice led to many semesters of experimenting with “taking grades off the table.”  Come to the Brighton TCC at noon on April 5 to see a video of what I came up with—grading based on student generated goals and their progress towards those goals.  We will spend time discussing what “taking grades off the table” could look like in your discipline.

Gena Merliss
Teaching and Creativity Center