Class Participation (Spring 2019)

One of the biggest assets of online education is the ability of students to have a larger impact on their classmates’ course experience, sharing their insights, expertise, and ideas. Thus, participation is required as a way of pooling this wonderful resources for everyone’s benefit. However, we understand that requiring participation has a tendency to incite inauthentic participation. Our goal with the participation policy is to give students enough ways to fulfill their participation credit in the way that is most natural and useful to them.

There are a number of different ways to earn participation points. Our goal is for the participation policy to be “invisible” to most students, in that organic participation is sufficient to fulfill these requirements. If you are active on Piazza (e.g. posting high-quality topics or comments a couple times a week) and complete your peer review tasks, you shouldn’t ever need to worry about the participation policy. We expect that for the majority of students, you’ll earn your participation points without really trying.

The following are the ways you may earn participation credit.

  • 1.5 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review within 4 days of receiving it (by the end of the day Thursday UTC-12).
  • 1.0 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review within 7 days of receiving it (by the end of the day Sunday UTC-12).
  • 0.5 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review 7 days or more after receiving it.
  • 1.0 points: Request and fulfill* an additional peer review. Additional peer reviews can be requested from the assignment page in Peer Feedback.
  • 0.1 to 3.0 points: Post a high-quality contribution on Piazza (actual point value varies by post). (Maximum 50 points.)
  • 1.0 points: Complete one of the four course surveys (start-of-course, quarter-course, mid-course, and end-of-course).
  • 0.5 points: Submit a candidate exam question. (Maximum 10 points.)
  • 30.0 points: Complete a Participation Project, including the accompanying reflection. (Maximum 90 points, and must be submitted by periodic deadlines.)
  • Additional points: Additional points may be awarded based on other things that come up (for example, completing a student spotlight or bringing in a guest for a Q&A).

* – Note that for all peer reviews, the peer review itself must be useful; simply filling out the form and writing a sentence or two isn’t sufficient to receive credit for peer reviews. Note some of the exemplary peer reviews from previous semesters to see what qualifies as a good peer review.

Grading Information

Your number of participation points will be averaged out of 80 possible points and included as 10% of your final average. Earning 80 points or above will give 100% of the possible participation credit.

It’s intentionally possible to complete your participation credit through peer review and surveys alone (by requesting extra peer reviews), or through those with Piazza and other things that may come up. It generally would be very difficult to complete your participation credit without completing the majority of your peer reviews, however.

Your current participation tally is posted around week 5 and week 11, so you can monitor how well you’re doing. There is no mid-semester deadline on participation; you can take entire weeks off if necessary as long as you earn your points at some point during the semester.