I read a blogpost by a high school English teacher on this novel idea of not assigning grades to student writing throughout the semester. It’s a novel idea, but I don’t think it’s one that can actually translate to the college level, mostly because of time.
The high schools have 18 week semesters with class 5 days a week (most of them, anyways), making for roughly 85 days of class (depending on the holidays). The colleges, typically, have sixteen week semesters with class occurring 2 or 3 times a week, making for between 30-43 days of class, again depending on holidays.
With so much extra time, it’s easy to see how this teacher could afford to spend many days in conference with students about their writing, but colleges expect students to shoulder the majority of work outside the classroom.
So I’m not sure I could justify attempting a gradeless system such as is described, but I am intrigued.