Taking a Pass on Assessment Grades for a Career Focused Tour of the Middle East
Keywords:Middle East, Ungraded Assessment, Study Tour, Career development, personal reflection, Specifications Grading
The Middle East Study Tour (MEST) is a capstone elective unit that stands alone as a credit module towards an undergraduate degree. The tour has the dual purposes of exposing students to the Middle East region's political challenges and better illuminating potential career paths for life after university. But is one student's personal discovery (or their ability to express it in writing) more valuable than another's? Attaching a numerical grade to such endeavours would seem to indicate that. For this reason the MEST uses an 'Ungraded Pass' approach to the assessments. That is, the students pass the assignments (and the module) by submitting their work, but without any score being awarded. This article explains the mechanisms the MEST uses for assessment and how this aligns with the goal of the program to expose students to the real world of political struggles and career development.
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