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Journal Article

A Unilateral Grading Contract to Improve Learning and Teaching

Jane Danielewicz and Peter Elbow
College Composition and Communication
Vol. 61, No. 2 (DECEMBER 2009), pp. 244-268
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40593442
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Unilateral Grading Contract to Improve Learning and Teaching
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Abstract

Contract grading has achieved some prominence in our field as a practice associated with critical pedagogy. In this context we describe a hybrid grading contract where students earn a course grade of B based not on our evaluation of their writing quality but solely on their completion of the specified activities. The contract lists activities we've found most reliable in producing B-quality writing over fourteen weeks. Higher grades are awarded to students who produce exemplary portfolios. Thus we freely give students lots of evaluative feedback on their writing, but students can count on a course grade of B if they do all the required activities—no matter our feedback. Our goal in using contracts is to enable teachers and students to give as much attention as possible to writing and as little as possible to grades.

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