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How do you grade student participation?

Question asked by Clarissa Lewis on Aug 18, 2012
Latest reply on Aug 29, 2012 by Laura Hasselquist

For a teacher who has 80% of each students' grade dedicated to participation, I should already have this figured out! But, I don't...or at least, not any more. On the advice of my colleagues, I started the year grading participation by keeping track of who speaks and how often they speak in class. Seven days later, I realize that process does not work for me and I cannot justify it as valuable use of my time...not to mention the student reactions to this format. I have a difficult time accepting "I agree with what s/he said" for creditable participation. I want my students to give me more than that - I want them to contribute something valuable to our discussions - not just speak because they are running a mental tally of their participation grade. What strategies do you use to grade for participation? Is it on a daily, weekly, or semester(ly?) basis?


Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your ideas!