OpenEd19 – Roundtable on Ungrading

Roundtable submission for #OpenEd19

Work in Progress

Please feel free to contribute, suggest planning for this, let me know if you would like to participate onsite or remotely. This is not my roundtable, I’m just providing a space to have this discussion during the #OpenEd19 conference if this roundtable is accepted.

Context

I have personally been working in an #Ungrading (or #AbolishGrading) environment in my classes since January 2016. I’ve written some about this after my initial inspiration of the late Joe Bower and the “Abolish Grading” section of his still active website “for the love of learning”. My practice at this has evolved during these three years and I have documented a little of my practice on my personal blog. Links to those provided in the references section.

There is an active community on Twitter of educators practicing #Ungrading and a recent article on April 1st in “Inside Higher Ed” titled “When Grading Less is More” gave more visibility to the teachers actively working on this in their classrooms and their research.  I was invited to submit a last minute contribution to that “Insider Higher Ed” article along with educators with much more experience than myself writing about this topic. Dr. Susan Blum is currently editing a book on this subject which includes a chapter contributed by Laura Gibbs. Laura shared her chapter with me and I did a critical reading of that chapter with my current semester students.

There are varied definitions of the term #ungrading (or as Joe Bower preferred to call this #AbolishGrading) and a varied mix of practices across teachers practicing this.  The day after the publication of the “Insider Higher Ed” article, Yishay Mor sent a call out on Twitter to create an “Ungrading Manifesto” which is the early stages. There is much work to be done and I believe that a roundtable to work on this topic would be relevant to the OpenEd19 community.

Goals

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OpenEd19 – Setting up your Connected Courses site in 5 minutes

Lightning Talk submission for #OpenEd19

The use of RSS feed aggregators like FeedWordPress has been in use for many course sites over the years including DS106, ETMOOC, and
The You Show”. The best resource for how to setup your syndication destination or planet site is Alan Levine’s five part blog post series “Building Connected Courses: Feed WordPress 101“. Despite the age of this resource (five years now) it is still an excellent resource for setting up a connected course teaching resource.

I have personally been adapting this setup since 2015 for a total of twenty two courses and counting. The setup requires some technical knowledge as well as maintenance to ensure the archived sites stay active and visible.

I use the main site as the full course site including syllabus, assignments and syndication of student submissions. It is important to note that student submissions are hosted on their own sites and this system allows syndication of all work in a single location. This is the key feature in this system: giving students ownership of their data and work. Other features provided by this setup is an open platform allowing co-learning within the course as well as any others observing or interacting with the course either by design or happenstance. Yes, this is a classic setup for a cMOOC.

In this lightning talk I will briefly show why I use this configuration for my classes, what changes that I have made to my own setup and changes that I plan to support shifting needs of my students and myself.

References

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