Student-centered assessment, interpretation and use arguments, grading, rubrics, student writing, summative assessment


Assigning grades is conventionally the exclusive, lonely terrain of the instructor, even as other aspects of teaching and responding to student writing are collaborative. As an alternative that promotes student engagement and agency, labor-based contract grading is used in a growing number of writing classrooms. This article strives to add to these conversations by describing evidence-based, student-led grading as an option that engages students as well as a broad construct of writing. This approach foregrounds students’ own response to their writing, in the form of evidence-based interpretation and use arguments for their grades. It engages students in the process of assessment, in this case, in responding not only their labor but also to their writing process and writing they produce. First, the article briefly describes themes and challenges in conventional grading and in contract-based grading. Then, the article offers context and example material for evidence-based student interpretation and use arguments for summative grades. The article closes with limitations and ongoing considerations.



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