What I Learned at St. John’s College Graduate Institute, Where There Are No Grades, But Lots of Assessment

by:
Christopher Perrin

How does a student respond when he is carefully assessed but never “marked?”  What is it like to receive a paper back from a professor with copious notes, suggestions, commendations and criticisms—but no grade or number?  What is it like to have your work constantly described with all manner of words and phrases, but never a number or a single letter?  I lived through this experiment at St. Johns College and will report on how this strange practice affected my sensitive psyche.  The short of it is that I learned to crave words and understanding, and found friendship with my tutor and classmates easy to come by.  I can hardly stand grades now, because of a new-found love for people and what they have to say.

 
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