A sketch of a grading rubric table.
A cartoon of a rubric for grading.

After successfully switching to specifications grading in BIOE415, I shared my process of how I transitioned to specifications grading in a paper presented at the IEEE Frontiers in Education conference in 2022. The full paper can be found on IEEEXplore.


Alternative grading schemes are growing in popularity in higher education STEM courses. These schemes focus more on learning and feedback than the traditional points-based grading scheme common in the U.S., which often relies on mathematical formulas to determine grades without attention to students’ actual mastery of the material. In the 2021-22 academic year, an alternative grading scheme was implemented in an upper-level required laboratory course in bioengineering at a large public university. The process of identifying and implementing the alternative grading scheme was documented and feedback was collected from students and laboratory staff during the first two semesters of implementation.


R. M. Reck, "Adopting Alternative Grading in an Upper-Level Laboratory Course in Bioengineering," 2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Uppsala, Sweden, 2022, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/FIE56618.2022.9962684.