In today's Faculty Focus by Maryellen Weimer, Phd, entitled Clear Criteria: A Good Way to Improve Participation, she introduced five final criteria necessary for fairly grading of classroom participation. As mentioned in her article, we as teachers often assume that students understand what we mean by "participation", when in fact the rules and criteria that we are looking for and grading students on are rarely, if ever clearly, stated for them to see and gauge their participation on. For international students, the need for teachers to be as clear as possible on what we want our newcomers to Canada to achieve, is more important than ever as participation in class means vastly different things depending on one's country of origin.
Dr. Weimer presents her five final criteria for student participation as follows:
- Preparation: the extent of your reading, analyzing and understanding of the material, demonstrated by contribution to discussion.
- Contribution to discussion: the extent to which you volunteered answers, asked relevant questions, expressed your own opinions and analyzed the contributions of others.
- Group skills: the extent to which you allowed others to contribute, avoided class domination, shared ideas with others, assisted others, provided positive feedback to others and exhibited tolerance and respect for others.
- Communication skills: the quality of your expression, clarity, conciseness, use of appropriate vocabulary, confidence.
- Attendance: includes punctuality.” (Dancer and Kamvounias, p. 448)
I have a new class of students starting next week, on March 7th, and guess what I am going to be busy this weekend making for them? An infographic indicating exactly what Dr. Weimer has shared with us in today's Faculty Focus, which is clearly and simply showing my students, in writing, what I mean by class participation so they will be able to better modify their actions to meet my expectations.
How simple is that?!
Source: Weimer, M., PhD. (2016). Clear Criteria: A Good Way to Improve Participation . Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/clear-criteria-a-good-way-to-improve-participation/?utm_campaign=Faculty Focus
Dancer, D. and Kamvounias, P., (2005). Student involvement in assessment: A project designed to assess class participation fairly and reliably. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30 (4), 445-454.
Photo Source: Put your hand up if you're having a good time. Mick Wernej: Flickr