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! 

UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES 
TODAY! Teaching Racial and Social Justice Series (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) 
Friday Forum: How to Approach Service Strategically (April 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
CAL$ Summer Program Application (Due April 19th)
QLT WorkshopsREGISTER HERE.

 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 

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