A RhetNet SnapShot Reply:
THE GRADING VORTEX
Marcy points out that grades are motivators and that in classes where there is some other motivation, "grades seem superfluous or even silly." Though I know I can motivate some students by means other than grades, I can't reach nearly enough of them. How do you motivate first semester college students taking a required course they don't think they need? I'm really not arguing in favor of keeping the status quo; I agonize over grades. Grading is the only thing I really hate about teaching. I just don't know what to do instead of assigning grades.
Some of you have suggested collaborative writing projects, but when I was a student I hated collaborative projects because a few people did all the work while the others did nothing. The upper division writing courses I teach always contain collaborative projects, and students always complain about having to do the work for others. I'm anxious for some solutions!