TCDC spring book club: Grading for Equity

Image of book cover. TCDC Spring Book Club: Grading for Equity. Thursdays 4:30 pm–5:30 pm from March 3 to April 21 on Zoom

Every 2nd Thursday 4:30pm-5:30pm from Mar 3 to May 26 on Zoom.

Why do we use the grading systems and practices we do? Where did they come from? For what purpose were they developed, and what were the underlying belief systems that informed their design?

These are questions that never once crossed my mind in the first 15 years of my teaching career. Don’t get me wrong. What I was grading and how I could do it better (in the interest of both improved student learning and my sanity) was a constant worry and occupied much of my time. But I was so busy developing assignments and tests and rubrics and deciding on weights and percentages that I never actually took a step back to consider why I was using certain methods, where they came from, when they were developed and for what purposes. And perhaps most importantly, I never paused to consider if these practices were actually accurately measuring learning or might be privileging some students and inadvertently disadvantaging others.

Over the past few years I’ve begun looking into the history and impact of my unquestioned grading practices and exploring new ways to measure learning. This semester, I’ll be continuing my learning journey by exploring the book, Grading for Equity, by Joe Feldman. If you are interested in reflecting on your own grading practices and finding methods that might be more accurate, inclusive, and bias-resistant as well as more motivational for students, I hope you’ll join me.

–Carmen Larsen, Curriculum Consultant



If you are Langara staff or faculty, books can be borrowed through TCDC and as an e-book through the Langara library. Otherwise, this book can be purchased through Amazon or Indigo.

Curious about how equitable your current grading practices might be? There’s a short quiz on the Grading for Equity website.