Student Participation Assessment

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Annotated Bibliography

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  • Armstrong, M., & Boud, D. (1983). Assessing participation in discussion: An exploration of the issues. Studies in Higher Education, 8(1), 33-44.Permalink.svg Permalink

The ability to communicate in group situations is an important skill required by graduates. Discussed are the difficulty of assessing class participation fairly, the potentially negative effects of assessment on the learning environment, how to choose evaluation criteria, when and how to record class participation, and different types of assessors.

  • Chan, A., Chow, P., & Cheung, K. (2004). Student participation index: Student assessment in online courses. (pp. 449-456). BERLIN: SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN.Ubc-elink.png

Online courses have been widely used to support teaching and learning in higher education. It is essential to develop methods to properly assess students in online course usages. This paper proposes a student participation index for assessing students in online courses. The index consists of a number of components, such as pages viewed and forum questions read and posted, and associated weights. It has the benefits of being non-course-specific, nonsubjective, extendible and flexible. The development of the index and how it is used to evaluate students are described in the paper. Results indicate that students with higher index usually achieve better grades and vice versa.

  • Craven, J. A. I., & Hogan, T. (2001). Assessing student participation in the classroom. Science Scope, 25(1), 36-40.Permalink.svg Permalink

Points out the difficulties of student assessment based on classroom participation and recommends a rubric.

  • Dancer, D., & Kamvounias, P. (2005). Student involvement in assessment: A project designed to assess class participation fairly and reliably. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(4), 445-454.Permalink.svg Permalink

This article describes a project designed to ensure that class participation in a large introductory commercial law course is assessed fairly and reliably. The subjectivity often associated with this type of assessment is minimized by involving students in the specification of clear criteria and the assessment process as they were asked to assess themselves and their peers. Formative feedback is given mid-way through the semester so that students have the opportunity to take remedial measures where necessary and teachers can reinforce positive behaviour. The data are analyzed to determine the relationships between the assessments given by the students, their peers and tutors. There is evidence of some gender bias in Week 13 that is not consistent with the final marks. Finally, the combining of the individual assessment of the criteria is shown to be a good estimate of the final class participation mark given by the tutors and the students.

  • Gopinath, C. (1999). Alternatives to instructor assessment of class participation. Journal of Education for Business, 75(1), 10-14.Permalink.svg Permalink

Three classes of business administration students chose the weight to be given class participation in their final course grade. Class A did self and peer assessments of participation, class B self, and class C peer. Self-assessments tended to be higher than instructor and peer. Peer assessment had low reliability but did provide useful feedback.

  • Heyman, J. E., & Sailors, J. J. (2011). Peer assessment of class participation: Applying peer nomination to overcome rating inflation. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 36(5), 605-618.Permalink.svg Permalink

Having students actively engaged with each other in discussions has become an increasingly important and common aspect of the classroom environment. This increased emphasis has also meant that instructors need to find ways to effectively and efficiently evaluate class participation. In this paper, we describe the most common method used for these assessments and highlight some of its inherent challenges. We then propose an alternative method based on peer nominations. Two case studies illustrate the advantages of this method; we find that it is both easy for students to complete and provide instructors with valuable diagnostic information with which to provide feedback and assign grades.

  • Lyons, P. R. (1989). Assessing classroom participation. College Teaching, 37(1), 36-38.Permalink.svg Permalink

Behaviorally anchored rating scales, designed as a performance assessment tool, are applied to the assessment of student participation in classroom discussion for grading purposes. Specific instructions are given for introducing the scales in class and involving students in their use.

  • Zaremba, S., & Dunn, D. (2004). Assessing class participation through self-evaluation: Method and measure. TEACHING OF PSYCHOLOGY, 31(3), 191-193.Ubc-elink.png

We describe a method for assessing class participation by having students evaluate their daily verbal and nonverbal contributions and completion of reading assignments. Easy to reproduce and use for record keeping, the measure allows students and faculty to understand each other's perspective on the quality of the student's participation. Students reported that the measure encouraged regular class attendance, active verbal and nonverbal participation, and completion of reading assignments.

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