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Community Member

how can I best assess class participation?

Other than attendance, how is class participation measured?

4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @paul_nourse ,

I will admit I am heavily on the tech side of Canvas so unfortunately can't provide you advice in this area. However, I did want to take the opportunity to share your question to the Instructional Designers‌ group. There are some great minds in there and they may be able to give some good guidance on the topic for you.

Hope that helps!


Community Team
Community Team

 @paul_nourse ‌, we're going to increase the visibility of this prompt by sharing it with the Higher Education‌ group—and even though you're at a university, we'll also share it with K-12‌ as the educators there may have some solutions that are equally effective in the K-12 and HE settings. We've also changed the format from a question to an open-ended discussion, as no one answer is likely to emerge as singularly correct.

Community Champion

I’ve tried a few different ways to “grade” participation. This past semester was the easiest, time online. It’s not perfect. 

A 90 day semester, with homework, should suggest a student has *at least* 90 hours online (class plus homework). I cut this number because some students would complete assignments faster.

My base was 80 hours and put into the grade book as an assignment worth 80 points in a group called participation (weighted 10%). I simply entered the time. Some students were around 120 hours and I felt this extra credit wasn’t a problem. Anyone below 50 struggled in the course. 

I plan to do do the same next semester. 

Community Champion

I really like the Analytics page for each student as a good snapshot of participation. It covers messages back and forth with the instructor, views, and "participations" (which are, unfortunately, not aligned with my state's specific meaning of that term for attendance purposes, but still better than nothing).

I've found that for my students, if it doesn't show up on their calendar it isn't real to them, so I also have a tendency to have some not-actually-assignments (I have a 0% of their grade category called "extra practice" and this sort of thing gets dumped in there along with exam reviews) where something I want them to read will come with a one question quiz of "did you read the thing?" or similar so that it will show up on their calendar and to-do list. That kind of thing could easily be part of a participation metric.