Ungrading | TTLL Season 1, Episode 01

Jun 9, 2022, 10:01 AM by Bob Dignan



Transcript of this episode is available here.

Landing page for the Show.


Our first episode is all about grades – or lack of them to be more precise. We chat with Kary Zarate (Special Education) and Billy Huff (Gender & Women’s Studies and Communication) about Ungrading, and why they're Ungrading in their classrooms, and the educators who inspired them to try. 

Huff and Zarate share what Ungrading looks like in their classrooms, challenges they’ve encountered, and the impact it’s had on student learning—and themselves, including, as Zarate says, bringing back “the joy of teaching.” 

Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your experience with Ungrading or another teaching topic? Drop us a note at

This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation! 

About the guests 

Kary Zarate is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education. Learn more at Kary's profile page.

Billy Huff is a Lecturer in the Departments of Communication and Gender & Women’s Studies. Learn more at Billy's profile page

View Huff’s Art of Teaching: Lunchtime Seminar Series presentation on “Teaching for Social Justice in the Classroom.” 

Jim Wentworth is Associate Director of Instructional Spaces and Technologies at CITL.

Other resources 

Jesse Stommel is a faculty member in the University of Denver’s Writing Program, co-founder of Hybrid Pedagogy: The Journal of Critical Digital Pedagogy and Digital Pedagogy Lab (2015-2021); and co-author of An Urgency of Teachers: the Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy. He is online at

Jen Newton is an associate professor in special education at Ohio University. View Newton's profile page.