As educators, we are always looking for ways to improve our teaching in order to help our students learn better. While ungrading may look different in every classroom, we believe that decentering grades through ungrading shifts the focus back onto student learning, where it belongs. By removing traditional letter or numerical grades from the center of the learning experience, students have more room to take chances, make mistakes without being penalized, and ultimately have more agency over their learning.

On the heels of our very successful conference, we are excited to issue a call for proposals for chapter contributions for the forthcoming book tentatively titled Grading Less Learning More: Ungrading World Languages. Georgetown University Press has expressed interest in potentially publishing this as a peer-reviewed book.

Grading Less – Learning More explores the transformative practice of ungrading in the context of world languages and cultures education. This instructional guide, edited by Evgeny Dengub and Lori Mesrobian (USC), dives into alternative grading systems and provides theoretical foundations, practical frameworks for implementing ungrading across different educational settings, and a rich collection of practical applications. Through student voices and case studies, it illustrates the profound impact of focusing on learning over grading.

The guide aims to empower educators to enhance language acquisition and foster a more inclusive, reflective, and student-centered learning environment. This unique compilation not only challenges traditional grading norms but also serves as a vital resource for educators seeking to innovate and improve student engagement and outcomes.

We envision chapters would be approximately 6,000 words and should include:

-a literature review outlining research and findings in the field.

-a general explanation of ungrading as it applies to the specific chapter topic (where applicable).

-author’s own research and/or practical applications in the classroom.

-recommendations for educators.

Proposed Table of Contents and Detailed Outline

Introduction to ungrading and humanistic pedagogy: Background and principles of ungrading, its significance in language learning.

1. WHY?

  • Language Acquisition and General Learning Theories: Theoretical underpinnings supporting ungrading.
  • Review of Systems and Overview of Practices: Examination of specifications grading, labor-based grading, task-based assessments, etc.
  • Student Voice(s): Testimonials and case studies highlighting student experiences.

2. HOW?

  • Framework for Ungrading a College Language Class: Strategies and considerations for higher education settings.
  • Framework for Ungrading Pre-College Language Class: Adapting ungrading for younger learners.
  • Framework for Online/Asynchronous/Hybrid Language Class?: Addressing the challenges of digital learning environments.
  • Navigating Administrative and Institutional Frameworks: Overcoming potential hurdles within educational institutions.


  • How to Ungrade Participation: Methods and examples.
  • How to Use Self-Assessments to Ungrade: Techniques and benefits.
  • How to Use Peer-Assessments to Ungrade: Implementing peer feedback effectively.
  • How to Use Reflections to Ungrade: Encouraging reflective learning.
  • The Role of Rubrics in Ungrading: Designing and utilizing rubrics in an ungraded system.


Submit Your Proposal Now

Tentative Timeline: 

  • Deadline for proposals: April 30, 2024
  • Selection of Contributions: Early May 2024
  • Publisher reviews the proposal for the book: May-July 2024
  • If the project is accepted by the publisher, authors will be notified in Summer 2024.
  • Final Drafts Due: January 1, 2025

Estimated Publication Date: Early 2026


Contact Evgeny Dengub ( or Lori Mesrobian (