Andrea Niosi (Vancouver, CA) is a full-time marketing and entrepreneurial leadership instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and visiting professor with FHWien der WKW where she teaches Introduction to eMarketing for our Center for International Education & Mobility (CIEM). Andrea’s teaching philosophy is focused on inclusive and equitable learning for all students. She has published several open educational resources (OER’s) and has worked with her students to develop open pedagogy assignments and projects that incorporate the SDG’s and give students the opportunity to publish their own work.
A critical part of her pedagogy involves the use of contract grading, also referred to as “ungrading“. This has been very well-received by the international students she teaches in Vienna since they are encouraged to take risks, embrace failure, and learn through revisioning. Feedback on the ungrading format has been positive and students have experienced less stress and anxiety and more joy and deeper learning in the absence of feeling like they are just working for grades.
Andrea Niosi explains, ‘While this approach may not be for everyone, it has been transformative in my teaching. Ungrading has enabled me to focus on building a reciprocal and positive learning relationship with my students, in lieu of a transactional grade-based one. At the end of the day, this approach does not compromise “rigor”. However, it does centre student agency, accountability, and well-being, all of which are important aspects when considering traditional or alternative evaluation techniques in today’s learning environment’.