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Ahmed Rivera Campos
Ahmed Rivera Campos, Ph.D. presents his research at the October 2023 Faculty Research Symposium in Harris College.

At the recent Harris United Lunch & Learn series event, Ahmed Rivera Campos, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Davies School of Communication Sciences and Disorders spoke about “ungrading,” a form of “grading for growth.”

In this conversation, he explains the difference between an antiquated teaching approach versus an equity-based teaching approach.

“Antiquated teaching approaches use an equitable system; however, it is based on the premise that all students are at the same level of skill, regardless of privileges,” said Rivera Campos.

Rivera Campos explains an equity-based approach recognizes that each and every student comes with different lived experiences and skills set and have had different educational opportunities.

The system of ungrading attempts to provide the specific resources and opportunities, tailoring to the needs of each student in order to achieve success and equal outcomes.

Students feel pressured to outperform their peers or they’re believed to be less intelligent or less capable, or have a lesser probability of being successful.

Rivera Campos emphasizes that ungrading challenges the traditional system of practices in schools and in university with the purpose to shift the weight that grades hold and the perception of what information a grade gives about who an individual is as a student.

“Meaningful learning is what’s valued; student growth and student mindset is important, not what a letter tells about a student,” said Rivera Campos.

Watch the full video to learn more about his approach to ungrading. *Note: you may be prompted to request access; please submit the request and access will be granted shortly thereafter.

This series is organized through Harris United, Harris College’s DEI Committee, and focuses on what inclusive instructors do in Harris College.

Check out last month’s Lunch & Learn story!