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Ungrading Student Presentations: Toward Some New Paradigms for Evaluating Student Speaking

May 30, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

This event is part of the CTLT Spring Institute, taking place from May 29–June 1, 2023.

Scholarly speaking is regularly expected and evaluated in classrooms across our campus—through in-class discussions, individual or group oral presentations, or other multimedia assignments (e.g. podcasts). Yet many of us, not being trained to teach “public speaking,” must assume that effective speaking is a skill that students either have or don’t. We tend to reward students for exhibiting a broadly agreed-upon set of “good” qualities: making eye contact, speaking “clearly.”

In this session, we will interrogate this agreement, asking: how can we teach and evaluate speaking equitably in ways that don’t disadvantage students who, for example, may have accents, public speaking anxieties, or non-normative dress or gesture?”

In this interactive workshop, we will share our research on equitable speaking pedagogies, including an introduction to our TLEF-funded web tool, the PASS (speaking.arts.ubc.ca). The focus of the hour will be on evaluating student speaking. Participants will reflect on the values and rubrics for evaluating speaking in their discipline. Adapting methods from research on “ungrading,” we will explore alternative methods of evaluation that move us away from “white habits of judgement” (Inoue 2019) or the biases of our disciplines and make space for students to practice speaking equitably in our classrooms.


  • Moberley Luger, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Dept. of English Language and Literatures and Coordinated Arts Program, UBC-V
  • Craig Stensrud, GAA, Dept. of English Language and Literatures, UBC-V

This event will be hosted on Zoom.