Washington & Lee University

Notes on
Class Participation

Professor
Gregory

last update: 8/20/07

My Homepage | Policies on Quotation, Citation, and Plagiarism | Notes on Writing and Grading

Be sure to also take a careful look at the “Policies on Quotation, Citation, and Plagiarism”, and “Notes On Writing and Grading”. You must read both of those pages in addition to this before sending your Syllabus Confirmation.

How I grade class participation. What follows is a rough indication of what I look for in terms of class participation. A majority of class time will be in a seminar format with the professor helping to provide direction for the discussion. This format of class can only be successful if students contribute directly through thoughtful questions and comments. In order to participate you must be prepared and in attendance. Class participation provides the opportunity to practice speaking, listening, and reasoning skills. You will be evaluated on the overall quality and consistency of your contributions to classroom discussions based on the following standard:

Outstanding (95): Contributions or questions reflect exceptional preparation. Ideas are always substantive and provide major insights. Questions reflect prior intellectual engagement with the material, they make linkages to other relevant material, and they often contribute to the learning of others. If this person were not a member of the class, the quality of discussion would be diminished markedly.

Good (85): Contributions reflect thorough preparation. Ideas offered are usually substantive and provide good insights. Questions are thoughtful and serve to clarify important issues. If this person were not a member of the class, the quality of discussion would be diminished.

Adequate (75): Contributions in class reflect satisfactory preparation. Ideas offered are sometimes substantive, and provide generally useful insights. Questions help to clarify material. If this person were not a member of the class, the quality of discussion would be somewhat diminished.

Non-participant (65 or below): Person says little or nothing in class. Hence, there is not an adequate basis for evaluation. If this person were not a member of the class, the quality of discussion would not be changed.

Unsatisfactory (65 or below): Contributions in class reflect inadequate preparation. Ideas offered are seldom substantive, provide few if any insights and never a constructive direction for the class. Questions clearly indicate a lack of preparation for the class. If this person were not a member of the class, valuable class-time would be saved.

Adapted from notes by Prof. Diette.