Specifications Grading FLC

This FLC ran in Fall 2021.

This faculty learning community (FLC) supports instructors interested in exploring and adopting an alternative grading approach called specifications grading. Specs grading is capable of fostering equity, inclusion, motivation, self-regulation of student learning, and rigor (learn more). Over the course of six meetings during Fall 2021, we will examine the salient features of specs grading systems and help you develop a scheme for one of your courses. By engaging in discussion and applying feedback from other participants, you will be ready to implement your redesigned course as early as the Spring 2022 semester.

Some of the questions we will explore during the FLC include:

  • What are the key principles of specifications grading approaches?
  • How do specs grading systems support equity and inclusion and foster a growth mindset?
  • How are letter grades linked to achievement of learning outcomes in your course?
  • How can specs grading help you better measure students’ learning and support their self-efficacy?
  • What are the challenges that specs grading systems present? And what are some strategies to overcome these?

As a participant in the FLC, you will:

  • gain a deep understanding of the essential constructs of specifications grading;
  • design a set of grade bundles and assignment specifications for your course;
  • collaborate with colleagues to develop your specifications grading system for your course; and
  • identify resources that assist with designing and self-assessment of your course.



This FLC is open to all faculty. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are also welcome to apply, however priority will be given to faculty.

Prior completion of our Course Design Institute or c3Design (facilitated or independent experience) is required. No prior experience with specifications grading is required.



Email Marina Escámez Ballesta, CTE Faculty Fellow, at me7pm@virginia.edu with questions.

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