Participation Points: Making Student Engagement Visible
- Use a new moniker
- Instead of participation points, call them engagement points
- The goal is to move students from grade seekers (passive regurgitation of information—written or verbal) to knowledge seekers (independent, engaged learners who see, reflect on, and share their thoughts on the complexity of problems/situations)
- Balance preparation and participation
- Lead with preparation
- Engagement = Preparation + Participation
- Create opportunities for students to share homework or research
- Make homework vital to class conversation and student learning, not simply a formative check preceding a summative assessment
- Share and review your Engagement Rubric from Day 1 (below is a version of the rubric I created for my 2000- and 3000-level students)
- Make the balance of preparation and participation part of your classroom routine in independent daily writing or group work by encouraging students to reference their notes and research.
- Students must score themselves against the Engagement Rubric
- Metacognitive exercises help students understand their responsibility in their own learning
- Make this a quick two minute monthly activity
- Repetition allows students to reacquaint themselves with the desired behavior
- A monthly check allows you to praise, schedule conferences, or recommend tutoring while the semester is still salvageable.
|PREPARATION (outside of class)||PARTICIPATION (in class)|
I am fully engaged
I read carefully and research background information on the author/topic ahead of time.
I research social, cultural, historic, economic, political connections to the text/topic.
I consider the course’s Essential Questions as I prepare.
I attend class and I speak daily.
I try to advance the conversation by presenting evidence to support my ideas.
I present related research, implications, or complexities in the text/situation/topic.
I am occasionally engaged
I read assignments ahead of time.
I do basic research to understand the material, but I do not go beyond the obvious.
Sometimes I consider the course’s Essential Questions as I prepare.
I attend class daily.
I speak occasionally—mainly when called upon by the professor.
Sometimes I present general evidence to support my position.
I’m not sure how to be engaged; I need some direction
Sometimes I do the reading.
I don’t research to understand the material, nor do I go beyond the obvious.
My attendance is inconsistent.
I participate only when prompted.
|No Preparation I neither read nor research before class.||No Participation
My attendance is inconsistent.
I do not speak in class.
- Recognize quiet learners (during and after class)
- Accept e-mail responses from quiet students
- Accept reflective e-mails—after class discussion has occurred
- Ask permission to share their ideas (with attribution) in the next class session
- Re-direct garrulous students who don’t full engage with the content
- Reinforce preparation by encouraging “talkers” to support their ideas with research, articles, quotations from the text as hand, homework, etc.