Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Engaging the Digital Student Initiative – Summer Institute June 2021: What’s in a Grade?

“What’s in a grade? That which we call a B,
By any other name would smell...just like a B, and students would still want a B+...”  With apologies to Wm Shakspe

30-day online institute (June 1 – 30, 2021) with synchronous sessions on Fridays: 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm

We have a special Engaging the Digital Student Initiative Summer Institute (EDSI) program this year!

You’re invited to take a deep dive into your grading practices and grading systems. What changes can you make to the way you assess students’ learning to make it more equitable for all learners? Are there ways to grade more inclusively, allow multiple means of representation in assignment submissions, or adjust how students’ learning is assessed to encourage diversity, inclusivity, and equity? And, very importantly, how do you set it up in Canvas? 

Attendees should be comfortable with basic aspects of online computer use including web browsing and sending/receiving emails with attachments.

We have a limit of 40 total participants (looking for 25 STEM and 15 non-STEM faculty). Participants are accepted first-come, first-serve in their category, based on a completed application. Registration deadline is Friday, May 21.

For questions, please email CAFE.

We are excited to feature Dr. Susan Blum, editor of Ungrading – Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and what to do instead) as our Keynote Speaker on Friday June 4, 2021.

The goal of EDSI 2021 is to have faculty consider their grading systems through an equity lens. We want you to leave EDSI with a syllabus containing clearly articulated rationale for assignments and assessments, in student-friendly, inclusive language. The deliverable will be a revised syllabus or part of a syllabus plus a reflection on the choices you’ve made in creating it. Additionally, we want you to feel comfortable using Canvas, setting up your Gradebook, and using SpeedGrader.

Please join us for this 30-day remote Summer Institute, with synchronous sessions every Friday (June 4, 11, 18, and 25), with a special closing session on Wednesday June 30.

Friday morning synchronous sessions will feature talks by educators who have implemented innovative and equitable grading practices in their classes towards a more inclusive grading experience for students.

Friday afternoon synchronous sessions will feature Canvas trainings with an emphasis on assignments, quizzes, and grading, giving you a huge head start on setting up your Canvas courses.

Throughout the week, we will have asynchronous resources for you to explore, including videos, articles, podcasts, and more.

EDSI 2021 Program

Date & Time Event
Friday June 4, 10AM – 12PM (PST) Keynote Address by Dr. Susan Blum, of Ungrading – Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and what to do instead)
Friday June 4, 1PM – 3PM (PST) Canvas Training – Setting up Assignments and Quizzes & Setting up your Gradebook
Friday June 11, 10AM - 12PM (PST) Contract Grading in the Realm of Ends and Means by John Q. Davis (Pasadena City College)
Friday June 11, 1PM – 3PM (PST) Canvas Training – Creating Canvas Rubrics, Setting up your Grading Increments. Revisit Gradebook.
Friday June 18, 10AM - 12PM (PST) Specifications Grading for 1000 Students by Silvia Heubach (CSULA)
Friday June 18, 1PM – 3PM (PST) Canvas Training – Using SpeedGrader
Friday June 25, 10AM - 12PM (PST) Critique-Driven Learning and Assessment by Christopher Riesbeck (Northwestern University)
Friday June 25, 1PM – 3PM (PST) Technology Training – Gradescope
Wednesday June 30, 10AM – 12PM EDSI Faculty Showcase – Share your work (Optional)

EDSI 2021 is a collaboration between eLearning and the NSF-funded "PASSION" (PolyTechnic for All) project. To that end, we're gearing our material toward STEM faculty, and STEM faculty will receive priority in registration. We have a limit of 40 total participants (looking for 25 STEM and 15 non-STEM faculty). Participants are accepted first-come, first-serve in their category, based on a completed application. Registration deadline is Friday, May 21. Although STEM faculty will receive priority, any faculty member, full- or part-time, is welcome to apply.

Stipends of $500 will be available for participation in the Institute’s synchronous activities and completion of “deliverables.” Please plan to attend at least 3 of the 4 Friday synchronous days. The Wednesday June 30 closing session is optional but it would be great to have everyone share their work.