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  • Writer's pictureolivershearman

Delayed grades: A small, simple effective tool

In the dynamic landscape of education, where the pursuit of instant results often takes precedence, the concept of delaying grades might seem like a departure from the norm. However, a closer examination reveals that this approach has the potential to revolutionize the learning experience, placing a strong emphasis on feedback-driven learning. In this blog post, we'll explore the nuances of delayed grading, delving into the advantages and challenges associated with this innovative strategy.



At the heart of the delayed grading philosophy is a fundamental shift in focus—from the fixation on grades to a prioritization of constructive feedback. When students are not immediately bombarded with numerical scores, they are more inclined to engage with the nuanced comments and insights provided on their assessments. This shift in attention lays the groundwork for a more profound understanding of strengths, weaknesses, and the path to improvement.


Delayed grades go hand in hand with the cultivation of a growth mindset. Instead of viewing assessments as finite judgments, students are encouraged to perceive them as stepping stones for learning and development. This shift in perspective has the potential to elevate learning outcomes and instill a deeper retention of knowledge.



In the world of instant feedback, numerical scores often carry a weight that transcends their intended purpose. Delaying grades can alleviate the anxiety associated with these scores. By receiving constructive feedback without an immediate grade, students are liberated from the pressure of achieving a particular mark, allowing them to focus on understanding the content and refining their skills.


Without the immediate distraction of grades, students are afforded the luxury of reflection. This deliberate introspection fosters metacognition—a deep understanding of one's thinking processes. Through reflection, students can identify patterns in their approach, develop strategies for improvement, and truly internalize the lessons learned.


While the advantages of delayed grading are compelling, there are challenges that must be navigated for successful implementation. Student resistance is a potential hurdle, as the accustomed expectation of instant validation through grades might clash with this approach. Convincing students of the long-term benefits will require transparent communication and a clear articulation of the educational philosophy behind the shift.


Faculty adaptation is another critical aspect. Adjusting grading timelines and communication strategies demands a commitment to change from educators. Providing resources for professional development in delivering effective feedback becomes imperative for the success of this initiative.


Parental expectations also play a role. Many parents are accustomed to tracking their child's progress through grades, and the introduction of delayed grading may raise concerns. Effective communication about the educational philosophy driving this approach is vital for gaining parental support.


Institutional changes, from grading policies to resource allocation for faculty training, are essential to create an environment that supports the transition to delayed grading.


In the ever-evolving landscape of education, exploring innovative approaches is paramount. Delayed grading stands as a beacon for a culture that values the journey of learning over the destination of grades. As we embark on this transformative journey, let us collectively embrace the potential of delayed grades to redefine education, fostering an environment where feedback becomes a catalyst for continuous improvement and academic success.


An excellent method for giving delayed grades and feedback for focus comes from the cult of pedagogy.



Delayed grading is a simple change for improved results and I hope we all consider it and may use it in our everyday practice to improve student outcomes.


Thanks for reading.

Cheers and stay curious

Oliver - The Teaching Astrophysicist

1 comentário


tarkus.suganda
02 de dez. de 2023

Thanks for sharing. I absolutely agree. When i practiced in my classroom, students appreciated it and based on unonimous survey, they like it

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