Apply now to participate in the 2022-23 Equitable Grading Practices in Higher Education Faculty Learning Community

August 03, 2022

Sponsored by the Division of Online and Strategic Learning, the Equitable Grading Practices in Higher Education Faculty Learning Community aligns itself with Ball State’s strategic goals of providing undergraduate excellence and innovation as well as facilitating institutional and inclusive excellence. More specifically, the FLC will focus on analyzing current grading practices for equity and provide a space in which instructors can develop, revise, and implement more equitable grading practices that focus on student learning rather than compliance.

Traditional grading methods tend to reflect dominant societal thinking, creating an unbalanced power dynamic in the higher education classroom (Costello, 2002; Gair & Mullins, 2002; LeCompte, 1978; Minor, 2020; Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017). This power dynamic is not just limited to the pre-established teacher-student hierarchy; it also includes implicit bias and lack of cultural competence. As such, the focus on learning takes a backseat to earning a particular grade (e.g., Kleinman et al., 2018). Despite a long history of grading practices used in schools, researchers continue to find that there are several variances among the practices of different teachers, even within the same schools and grade levels (Brookhart et al., 2016; Carter, 1952; Guskey & Link, 2019). Additionally, although grading is often framed as a measure of learning, scholars argue that many other factors, such as behavior, play a role in the grades that students receive (Brookhart, 1993; Giroux, 1978; Lewis, 1975; McMillan, 2001; Minor, 2020; Randall & Engelhard, 2010). 

FLC participants will

  • Review and analyze current grading approaches;
  • Investigate equitability and different equitable practices in higher education;
  • Develop equitable grading practices for their course/s;
  • Share their findings with the higher education community at Ball State and beyond.

The Equitable Grading Practices in Higher Education FLC is open to all full- and part-time faculty. Selected members should plan to meet for 1 ½ - 2 hours every three weeks throughout the  2022-23 academic year. Meetings will be held in a hybrid format (in-person and Zoom). The meeting schedule will be determined based on the availability of the participants during the weeks of September 12, October 3, October 24, November 14, and December 5. Spring dates will be determined at a later date.

FLC participants will receive $750.00 in a research incentive account (RIA) or as a salary stipend. Funds will be distributed in June 2023. The deadline for applying is AUGUST 26, 2022. Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance no later than Friday, September 2, 2022. The first meeting will occur during the week of September 12, 2022. The specific day and time will be determined by participants’ availability.

APPLY HERE, or, if you prefer, go to

Questions? Contact Rebecca Brown, Kirsten Robbins, or Kathleen Jacobi.


Brookhart, S. M., Guskey, T. R., Bowers, A. J., McMillan, J. H., Smith, J. K., Smith, L. F., Stevens, M. T., & Welsh, M. E. (2016). A century of grading research: Meaning and value in the most common educational measure. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 803-848.? 

Carter, R. S. (1952). How invalid are marks assigned by teachers? Journal of Educational?Psychology, 43, 218–228.

Costello, C. Y. (2002). Schooled by the classroom: The (re) production of social stratification in professional school settings. In The hidden curriculum in higher education (pp. 53-70). Routledge.?

Gair, M., & Mullins, G. (2002). Hiding in plain sight. In?The hidden curriculum in higher?education?(pp. 31-52). Routledge.?

Giroux, H. A. (1978). Developing educational programs: Overcoming the hidden curriculum. The Clearing House, 52(4), 148-151.? 

Guskey, T. R., & Link, L. J. (2019). Exploring the factors teachers consider in determining students’ grades. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 26(3), 303-320.

Kleinman, S. B., Leidman, M. B., & Longcore, A. J. (2018). The changing landscape of grading systems in US higher education. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 22(1), 26-33.? 

LeCompte, M. (1978). Learning to work: The hidden curriculum of the?classroom.?Anthropology & Education Quarterly,?9(1), 22-37.

Lewis, K. A. (1975). Putting the hidden curriculum of grading to work. The English Journal, 64(3), 82-84.? 

McMillan, J. H. (2001). Secondary teachers' classroom assessment and grading practices.?Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 20(1), 20–32.? 

Minor, C. (2020). Turn & talk: “Antiracist” grading starts with you. Educational Leadership,?78(1), 12-13.?

Randall, J., & Engelhard, G. (2010). Examining the grading practices of teachers. Teaching and?Teacher Education, 26, 1372–1380.

Sensoy, Ö. & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is everyone really equal? An introduction to key concepts in?social justice education (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.

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