Moving Toward Equity: Experiences With Ungrading

Marcia Rapchak, Africa S. Hands, Merinda Kaye Hensley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the practice of ungrading, a movement embraced by a growing number of teachers and professors who see the process of grading as disconnected and sometimes counter to the learning goals they have for their students. We discuss the limitations of traditional grading systems in the United States, mainly in the way that grading is subject to instructor preferences and reflective of white, middle-class ideals of learning. Describing the benefits of ungrading for library and information science education, we focus particularly on how ungrading can encourage a more equitable classroom environment and student autonomy. Taking an autoethnographic approach, we each describe our own evolution as teachers and how we discovered and began implementing ungrading, including the scholars and movements that influenced us. We argue that ungrading dismantles some of the power imbalance between students and professors, leading to an environment in which students take responsibility for their own learning. Ultimately, we reflect on ungrading as a more inclusive approach that encourages curiosity, growth, and freedom in the learning environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Education for Library and Information Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • LIS education
  • anti-racist pedagogy
  • critical pedagogy
  • student autonomy
  • ungrading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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