I place a heavy emphasis on class participation in all of my classes. I do this because I firmly believe you have a responsibility not only to take something from class, but also to give something back. I also believe that we learn so much from each other. And I guarantee that I will learn as much from you as you from me. I firmly believe that I am not the “sage on the stage,” but rather, “the guide on the side.”
Having said the above, what is “Class Participation?” It is definitely not “white noise.” It is definitely not how much you say, but rather what you say.
The concept that I have been using to measure participation was originally designed by Edward Clarke (“Grading Seminar Performance,” in College Teaching, Summer, 1985 pp. 129-133) (which I know some of you will say that 1985 is ancient history – but please compare that with the Code of Hammurabi, whose picture is here on the right)
Your reflections in class should demonstrate
Content Mastery — Your ability to understand the facts, concepts, and theories introduced.
Communication Skills –You should be able to ask clear, constructive questions, and build on others ideas.
Synthesis/ Integration — You should be able to make a connection between this material and other material
Creativity – You should use that material to generate your own insights and applications
Valuing – You should be able to identify values inherent to the material and offer rationales based on some value system
You get out of this class what you put into it.
“But, I’m shy!!!!!!” Really, well so am I. But, we all have to get over it!
I hope this gives you a clear picture of what I expect how it is valued. If you have any questions, please remember that my door is always open.