How I Grade Course Participation

I use an androgogical rather than a pedagogical instructional model for this course:

  • In child-style learning (pedagogy), the teacher is responsible for everyone’s learning.
  • In adult-style learning (andragogy), the student is responsible for making sure that everyone else in the group learns too.

I am not passing responsibility to you; I’m sharing it.  That’s what adult learning is all about — and you’ll be doing it the rest of your lives.  As a result, shouldering your responsibility for the success of this course constitutes a significant portion of your grade.

What does this mean, in practice?  I’ll be looking for the following things:

  1. Your presence, both physically and mentally in the classroom.  This means full participation in discussions, etc. — the stuff that gives you a good participation grade in a normal course.
  2. Your intellectual leadership, esp. the degree to which you bring organization and energy to our projects and to your group presentations, new information and new ideas to class, and provide a sense of direction to our efforts.
    • NB: So that we’re not just rewarding extroverts, this can also include conversations with us outside of class about the course direction and the topics we are covering.
  3. Your attention to others’ learning, and your active efforts to make sure that others in the group benefit from the course.  This might include your direct interventions, but it also might include conversations with us outside of class.
  4. The amount and quality of the data that you bring to our various collaborative projects, including the daily questions that you write on the board (and hand in).

These matters are not mutually exclusive, of course.  But they give you an idea of the kinds of things that we’ll be thinking about as I evaluate your work.