12.4 Teaching Online: Thinking about Participation
No Due Date
Setting reasonable, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-monitor expectations for participation is often a crucial step to get and keep students engaged. Making participation interesting, authentic, and clearly tied to learning outcomes can improve student motivation to participate and engage.
How clearly can you describe your expectations for participation?
When thinking about what you want your students to do and when, how, and to what extent you want them to do it, it's easy to either be very vague or overly-prescriptive. Walking the line between structure and autonomy can be tricky when you want to encourage sincere inquiry and discourse.
Reviewing the participation rubrics in the module and any others you have seen from your colleagues or found online, what categories of participation do you feel are most important to emphasize in your course?
Once you have identified categories, describe what acceptable, not-acceptable, and outstanding look like in each category. (For example, acceptable timeliness might be posting on the due date, not acceptable might be posting after the due date, and outstanding might be posting at least a day before the due date. Describe it in a way that you can justifiably assign a student's participation to a particular category. Descriptions such as "good, solid work," good work," and "not good work" aren't specific enough to be of help to the student in understanding what is expected of them or to you in grading what the students are doing.)
Now think about an activity where you want students to actively discuss something. Make sure that your activity includes instructions and prompts that encourage discussion as opposed to a series of individual monologues.
When you have an outline of a rubric and a discussion activity ask someone who does not teach, a friend, family member, administrative staff person, etc. to review your the items and ask them to explain what they think you are asking them to do in their own words. Revise as needed to make sure your intent is understood.
Can't change a rubric once you've started using it.