Notes in the Margins: Grades, fair trade and free MOOC textbooks

Let’s get rid of grades Grades encourage students to focus on the external assessment of a single person — or a small group of people — rather than on true exploration and learning. What would happen if students were free to experience classes, retain information and build connections without fear that their futures hung in the balance of a single imperfect product? (The Washington Post)

Awareness of fair trade on the rise on campus Many universities have vowed to purchase fair-trade products in dining halls, bookstores and other retail facilities. Now, students are following. (USA Today)

The Jobs Of The Future Don’t Require A College Degree Some jobs of the future only “require” college because we’re very dumb. (Forbes)

Coursera to offer students free online textbooks, with conditions Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller said students would not be able to print or download the free texts available through the deal. But she said there would be significant benefit for a global learning community that has flocked to free online education. (The Washington Post)

Ways Congress Can Simplify Federal Student Loans One policy organization proposes ways to simplify student loan borrowing and repayment. (U.S. News & World Report)