Student Participation Yay or Nay?

Dear faculty, 

Yesterday I ran into an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, about the problematic nature of grading class participation. In Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?, James M. Lang discusses how grading participation is often very subjective – and therefore inevitably biased – and shares that: “when we drill down to the particulars, this grading practice raises some hard questions that usually are left unanswered: Are all comments equal? What counts as a comment worthy of a good grade? How am I tracking the quality of the comments, as opposed to the sheer quantity?” 

What Lang suggests is not to eliminate opportunities for students to engage (with both the material, with each other, and the instructor), but to reconsider what that engagement looks like and what different forms can take. This topic was the focus of one of the Go Virtual Community meetings we had in the Fall, and I created a brief presentation about Evaluating Participation. These slides offer information about benefits, challenges, and methods for assessing participation, but also resources that invite to reconsider the role of participation as a graded portion of the course, including links to rubrics that can help evaluate participation and engagement in more holistic, equitable, and meaningful ways. 

I hope you will find these resources both useful and challenging! 

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 Submit ideas for activities in zoom discussions and breakout rooms HERE

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director 
Campus zip: 026 
Phone: 530-898-3094
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/
Professor 
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology 
Campus zip: 504 
Phone: 530-898-4647 

Zoom Discussion, Breakout Rooms, and Engagement

Dear faculty, 

I know that by now I probably sound like a broken record, but FDEV is really interested in focusing on student engagement this semester. 

I have heard many concerned faculty sharing their experience about how “this semester is just different” and how students are really struggling and dropping out or simply not showing up. 

This is a concern that we have tried to address with the student engagement challenge and today I want to share one of our Teaching Guides about Zoom breakout rooms

The teaching guide includes some practical tips for application in the classroom, but also a number of tutorials and resources you can explore. 

We want to take our effort a step further though, and for this reason, I am asking all faculty to consider contributing to the creation of a database of Zoom discussions, assignments, and activities that you used in your classes and had a positive impact on the students. It is my hope that this list of resources can offer faculty some practical ideas of how to manage zoom discussions and breakout rooms. I know we have some amazing talent among our faculty, so I encourage you to fill out this brief google form and share your successful experience with online student engagement. 

Thank you for your contributions! 

And… a reminder to join us tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for our weekly Go Virtual Community meeting (Zoom link). We will discuss ideas and experiences with flipped classes! 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director
Campus zip: 026
Phone: 530-898-3094
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/
Professor
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology 
Campus zip: 504
Phone: 530-898-4647