This book represents the crowdsourced wisdom, reflections, failures, and triumphs of those educators exploring ungrading in their courses, at their institutions, and within their communities of practice. It contains contributions of all sizes, genres, and experiences. Whatever is honest and authentic about doing ungrading. Hopefully, you have come to this book with a deep interest in the ungrading phenomenon, especially as it relates to teaching during a global pandemic. More importantly, and regardless of any pandemic, it is assumed that the reading audience of this book is invested in a pedagogy of empathy, an approach that trusts students first and foremost. When the investment involves our students, nothing else compares.

There has been NO revision, evaluation, or judgment of the contributions herein; whatever has been sent to me has been published. Since the ungrading journey is an open and shared one, it is essential that this crowdsourced collection be #open, created as an Open Education Resource (#OER) in accordance with open pedagogy and Open Educational Practices (#OEP). Take what you want, as long as you attribute the writer/composer whenever you retain, revise, remix, reuse, or redistribute (the 5 R’s of open content). In short, this book is free, open, and exposed in the wild. It will be organized by the emerging themes/sections/genres from the contributions as they come in. It is a living collection that will undergo continual updating and change. Much like our teaching!

One important part of this text is that it supports user annotation (and commenting) via We can use this tool to share our annotations and engage with one another as we read/respond/reflect upon the various contributions in this text. According to Remi Kalir, “[A]nnotation is a collaborative activity that can contribute to social connectedness and online community-building” (Annotate Your Syllabus 3.0). We can become knowledge producers as we make our thinking visible via social annotation.

Do you know what’s interesting? When you type the word ungrading, it usually gets autocorrected to upgrading. This book will claim ownership over both terms — when we ungrade, we invariably upgrade our students’ learning!


–David Buck, Professor of English

Howard Community College (Columbia, MD) / @dbuckedu


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Crowdsourcing Ungrading Copyright © 2020 by David Buck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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