Exploring Labor-Based Grading Contracts

Exploring Labor-Based Grading Contracts as an Assessment Model that Builds Equity and Inclusion

Co-facilitators: Christina Spiker (Art & Art History and Asian Studies) and Rehanna Kheshgi (Music)

Description: Much of our pedagogical focus tends to circulate around content delivery and student engagement, especially when preparing to teach in a hybrid or virtual environment. Assessment and grading often take a back seat. Reflecting on inclusive and anti-racist pedagogy research including Asao B. Inoue’s Labor-Based Grading Contracts (2019), we affirm that “not thinking of assessment first, or at least simultaneously with pedagogy, is a mistake.” This working group challenges participants to reflect on the role that assessment and grading play in their pedagogy and offers an introduction to Labor-Based Grading Contracts as an assessment model that has the potential to build equity and inclusion—whether teaching face-to-face, in a hybrid environment, or virtually. We will address the following key questions as part of this working group: 1) How might inequitable practices show up in my assessment and grading by privileging some students over others? 2) What interventions can I make to better promote equity and inclusion through my assessment and grading practices? 3) How can I incorporate other equitable models such as employing multiple scaffolded assignments and embracing a range of modalities into a labor-based grading ecology? This three-part series will begin by focusing on the foundations of labor-based grading, followed by an exploration of discipline-specific models, and will conclude with an opportunity for participants to apply labor-based grading to their own courses through the drafting of a grading contract.