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Inclusive assessment is about more than evaluating students. It is the on-going activities that allow students and instructors to understand student progress on meeting the course learning objectives.

General Principles

  • Student learning is prompted by early, low-stakes, frequent assessment and feedback for learning.
  • Students will rise to high expectations if they have appropriate support.
  • Assessments should utilize multiple and varied methods of student performance.
  • Student learning is enhanced by exercises or assignments that promote self-assessment and self-awareness. An example of this may be the use of exam wrappers.
  • “Grading on a curve does not allow all students to see how close they are coming to high standards of performance. If all students reach the standard, it is okay for all to reach the highest grade” (Ginsberg & Wlodkowski, Diversity & Motivation, 2009).
  • Assessment occurs before, during, and after learning.
  • Assessments need to be transparent in their design. This includes clearly articulating step-by-step instructions as well as the criteria for success.


Read through the Inclusive Assessment Chart (PDF). Included in the second column are some of the things that most of us do. As you read through, check off in front of it the ones you already do. In the fourth column are ideas for how you might enhance what you already do by using more inclusive, student-centered language, and some new ideas that you might like to try. As you read through this list, check off a few you might like to adopt or adapt.

Grading, Equity and Ungrading

There has been increased attention and scrutiny over grading practices and equity. One of the reasons for this is that evidence has pointed to the ways grading negatively impacts learning (Kohn, 2011). Prominent grading approaches have often privileged individuals with the greatest resources, preparation, and desired behaviors (Blum, 2020). As a result many faculty have considered the practice of ungrading. Ungrading is not as simple as just removing grades. The word “ungrading” (an active present participle) suggests that we need to do intentional, critical work to dismantle traditional and standardized approaches to assessment (Stommel, 2020). If you are interesting in learning more about ungrading and how to get started, below are a few resources:

Additional Resources:

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