Exploring the Impact of Ungrading on Student Learning





ungrading, learning experience, students, teaching faculty


In most academic disciplines and schooling contexts, grading practices tend to vary by individual instructor preferences and habits. The field of Library and Information Science (LIS) is no different, with grading practices and norms varying even within a particular program. Despite these variations in assessment, a unifying factor across all fields is the understanding of learning itself, and there is a great deal known about how people learn, regardless of discipline/course/program (Bransford et al., 2000). Bringing insights from the Learning Sciences, this study aims to investigate the impact of ungrading on student learning. Specifically, we primarily employ a qualitative approach informed by a sociocultural perspective of learning and human development. Our in-progress research aims to understand how ungrading, which involves eliminating or minimizing grades in the assessment process, affects students' learning and their learning experiences in the context of two IT-focused asynchronous courses in a library and information science program master’s program in the southeast of the United States. To gather insights about students’ learning experiences, data collection methods will include semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, with a particular focus on how students’ perceptions and experiences of ungrading impact how they learn. Pre- and post-hoc tests will be used to study learning mastery of course content. The findings will offer implications for research and practice related to how to best support LIS student learning, especially within the context of online, asynchronous, higher education courses.

Author Biographies

  • Daniela DiGiacomo, University of Kentucky

    School of Information Science, Assistant Professor

  • Jennifer Pusateri, University of Kentucky

    Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching


Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R.. (2000). How people learn (Vol. 11). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.






Works in Progress Posters