[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Chris Hill



This course is designed for educators who want to explore various grading policies, approaches, and strategies that align with principles of equity and support student growth.  Grading is an integral part of the educational system, but it can often perpetuate inequities and hinder student growth. This course aims to empower teachers with the knowledge and strategies to develop grading policies and practices that prioritize equity, support student learning, and address the diverse needs of their students.

Grading practices play a crucial role in shaping student outcomes and experiences. However, traditional grading methods can be inherently biased, leading to disparities in achievement and limiting opportunities for certain groups of students. This course provides educators with the tools and resources to critically examine their grading policies and practices, identify and address biases, and implement strategies that promote fairness, growth, and educational equity. By engaging with this content, teachers will be better equipped to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

Understanding of Grading Perspectives: Participants will develop a comprehensive understanding of different grading perspectives, approaches, and their implications for student equity and learning outcomes.

Analysis of Current Grading Policies: Participants will critically evaluate their current grading policies and practices, identifying areas of bias, inequity, and opportunities for improvement.

Strategies for Equitable Grading: Participants will explore and apply research-based strategies and best practices to develop grading policies and practices that promote equity, growth, and meaningful learning for all students.

Communication and Collaboration: Participants will develop effective communication strategies to engage and involve students, families, and colleagues in the grading process, fostering transparency and understanding.

Reflective Practice and Continuous Improvement: Participants will engage in reflective practice, continually examining and refining their grading policies and practices to align with the principles of equity and to better support student growth and success.

Note: The content and assignments in this course are designed to provide participants with a framework for critical thinking and exploration of equitable grading practices. While the resource "Grading for Equity" by Joe Feldman is suggested as a valuable resource, participants are encouraged to draw on additional resources and their own experiences to shape their understanding and conclusions about the best grading policy for their classrooms and schools.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



While the resource "Grading for Equity" by Joe Feldman is suggested as a valuable resource, participants are encouraged to draw on additional resources and their own experiences to shape their understanding and conclusions about the best grading policy for their classrooms and schools.

None. All reading is online.





Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

Introduce yourself by describing your professional situation, reasons for being interested in this course, and what you hope to gain from taking this course. (1-2 pages)

Assignment #2: Grading Policy Reflection

In 300+ words, answer the following:

  • What is your current grading policy?
  • How did you establish your current grading policy?
  • What factors influenced your decision-making process when setting up your grading policy?
  • Reflect on any challenges or successes you have experienced with your current grading policy.
  • Has your school had any professional development regarding equitable grading practices or other approaches to grading?
  • Are there any common themes you have received feedback from parents/students expressing concern about your current grading policies?

Assignment #3: Exploring Grading Policies

Watch and read about various grading policies and approaches used in education.

Create a comparative analysis chart or infographic that includes the following: (minimum 250 words)

  • An overview of different grading policies (i.e., such as traditional letter grades, standards-based grading, or competency-based grading)
  • The advantages and limitations of each grading policy.
  • How different grading policies align with principles of equity and/or fairness.
  • Reflect on your findings and consider which grading policies may be most suitable for your classroom or school.

Assignment #4: Assessing Equity in Grading

Reflect on the concept of equity in grading and its implications for student outcomes.

Read: Read Chapter 4 (pg 39-58) in “Grading for Equity”

Write a 400-500 word reflective essay or create a 2-3 minute video presentation addressing the following:

●      What does equity in grading mean to you?

●      How does grading impact educational equity?

●      Explore the potential challenges and biases that can arise in grading practices.

●      Discuss strategies and approaches to address and promote equity in grading.

●      Attach your video link in the response box.

Assignment #5: Communication & Transparency

In 400-500 words, discuss the importance of communication and transparency in the grading process. Address the following:

A)    How do you currently communicate grading criteria and expectations to your students and their families? Are your grading practices transparent to all stakeholders (i.e., students, parents, administrators? What steps can you take to improve communication and transparency in grading?

B)    Create a sample communication plan or template that promotes transparency and clarity in grading.

Assignment #6: Assessment Strategies for Equity

Explore different assessment strategies and their implications for equity in grading.

Create a visual presentation or infographic that covers the following:

  • Different types of assessments (such as formative, summative, authentic, or performance-based assessments, assessment for learning)
  • The benefits and limitations of assessment strategies in promoting equitable grading.
  • Strategies to diversify your assessment practices and consider the needs of diverse learners.
  • Reflect on how different assessment strategies can contribute to equitable grading practices.

Assignment #7: Feedback for Growth and Equity

Reflect on the role of feedback in promoting student growth and equity.

Create a written reflection or audio recording that addresses the following: (Audio recording should be 3-5 minutes. Written reflection should be 400-500 words)

  • How do you currently provide feedback to your students?
  • Reflect on the impact of feedback on student motivation and learning.
  • Explore strategies for providing effective feedback that supports equity in grading.
  • Share specific changes you plan to make in your feedback practices to align them with your principles of growth and equity.
  • If you choose to do a recording, please attach a link to the recording in your response box.

Assignment #8: Alternative Grading Approaches

Research and explore alternative grading approaches beyond traditional letter grades.

Create a visual presentation or written report that includes the following:
Examples of alternative grading approaches.

  • The benefits and challenges of using alternative grading approaches.
  • How alternative grading approaches can promote equity in assessment and grading.
  • Reflect on how you might incorporate elements of alternative grading approaches into your own classroom or school.

Assignment #9: Inclusive Grading Practices

Reflect on the importance of inclusive grading practices.

Create a reflective video or written reflection that addresses the following: (Video recording should be 3-5 minutes. Written reflection should be 400-500 words)

  • How can grading practices be more inclusive and considerate of diverse student needs and backgrounds?
  • Reflect on any biases or assumptions you may hold in your grading practices.
  • Strategies to ensure that your grading practices are equitable and unbiased.
  • Share specific changes or modifications you plan to make in your grading practices to promote inclusivity.
  • If you choose to do a recording, please attach a link to the recording in your response box.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #10: Student/Teacher/Parent Perspectives on Grading

Conduct interviews or surveys with your students, parents, or colleagues to gather their perspectives on grading practices. Create a report or presentation that includes: 400-500 words.

  • The questions asked and the responses received from students.
  • Analyze common themes and patterns in student perspectives on grading.
  • Reflect on how student/parent/colleague perspectives can inform and shape your grading practices.
  • Consider ways to involve students in the co-creation of grading policies and practices.

Assignment #11: Creating an Informed Grading Policy

Reflect on your current grading policy and create a well-informed grading policy for your classroom or subject area. Write a detailed document that includes the following components: (500-600 words)

  • Clear guidelines for grading criteria and expectations.
  • Strategies for providing ongoing feedback and supporting student growth.
  • Procedures for reassessment or revision of grades.
  • Considerations for promoting transparency and involving students and families in the grading process.

Assignment #12: Evaluating Grading Practices

Research and evaluate the effectiveness of different grading practices in promoting student learning and equity.
Read Chapter 9 (pg 109-124) in “Grading for Equity”

Write a research paper or create a presentation that includes: (500-600 words)

  • A review of scholarly literature on grading practices and their impact on student outcomes.
  • Comparative analysis of the effectiveness of different grading approaches in promoting learning and equity.
  • Reflect on the implications of the research findings for your own grading practices.
  • Identify areas for further research or exploration in grading practices.

Assignment #13: (500 Level ONLY) Action Plan for Equitable Grading

Develop an action plan for implementing equitable grading practices in your classroom or school. Create a comprehensive document that includes the following:

  • A vision statement for equitable grading in your educational context.
  • Clear goals and objectives for implementing equitable grading practices.
  • Strategies and steps to be taken, including professional development, collaboration, and resource allocation.
  • A timeline for implementation and evaluation of progress.

Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY) Reflecting on the Journey

Reflect on your learning journey throughout the course. Create a reflective blog post series (2-3 posts of 300-400 words each), a video diary (3-5 minutes), or a visual portfolio that includes:

  • Highlights from your reflections and assignments throughout the course.
  • Key takeaways and insights gained from studying different grading approaches and equity in grading.
  • Reflect on the changes you have made or plan to make in your grading practices.
  • Share your personal philosophy or approach to grading and its alignment with equity in education.

Assignment #15: (500 Level ONLY) Peer Sharing and Collaboration

Collaborate with a peer or colleague to share your grading policy and receive feedback. Exchange grading policies and provide constructive feedback to each other. Reflect on the feedback received and make revisions to your grading policy accordingly. (Write a 400-500 word reflection that outlines the feedback and how you plan to revise your grading policy)


Assignment #16: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Chris Hill, M.E.T., received his Master of Educational Technology from Boise State University and currently teaches Marketing, Leadership, and Digital Media at Lake Oswego High School. His diverse teaching experience includes teaching at The International School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He is a Google Certified teacher, and is one of fifty educators from across the country who was chosen to participate in the 2011 STEM Institute in Washington D.C. He is a member of the NorthWest Council for Computer Education and the International Society for Technology in Education. He has served as the Technology Coordinator and Activities Director at various schools.



Feldman, J. (2019). Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms. Corwin.

Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2019). Developing Standards-Based Report Cards. ASCD.

O'Connor, K. (2009). How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards. Corwin.

Wormeli, R. (2018). Fair Isn't Always Equal: Assessing and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom. Stenhouse Publishers.

Brookhart, S. M. (2013). Grading and Learning: Practices That Support Student Achievement. ASCD.

Guskey, T. R. (2015). On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting. Solution Tree.

McTighe, J., & O'Connor, K. (2005). Seven Practices for Effective Learning. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 10-17.

Schimmer, T. (2016). Grading From the Inside Out: Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset. Solution Tree.

Stiggins, R. J. (2010). An Introduction to Student-Involved Assessment FOR Learning. Pearson.

Marzano, R. J. (2006). Classroom Assessment and Grading That Work. ASCD.