What is wrong with grades?
Instructors and students have different ideas about what grades are supposed to measure: Should they be about how much students have learned? How much work they have completed? How well they have mastered the subject? (Arguably, they measure none of these well.) Grades can perpetuate bias, inequalities, and injustice, reduce student motivation and willingness to challenge themselves, and add enormous administrative burdens. No wonder many students and faculty dislike grades!
However, grades are not going away as a tool for evaluation, sorting, and gatekeeping by institutions and employers, and as a measure of success by students. But there is literature on how to adapt the grading process to avoid the drawbacks above, and improve student motivation and engagement, as well as instructor satisfaction. They go by names such as curving, ungrading, contract grading, and specifications grading.
In 2022, I experimented with