Class Participation

Due: Throughout the semester, but evaluated at weeks 5, 9, 13, and 17.

Assignment Instructions

Because of the collaborative and discussion-oriented nature of this class, participation is required. However, we understand that requiring participation has a tendency to incite inauthentic participation. Our goal with the participation policy is to give students enough ways to fulfill their participation credit in the way that is most natural and useful to them.

There are a number of different ways to earn participation points. Our goal is for the participation policy to be "invisible" to most students, in that organic participation is sufficient to fulfill these requirements. If you are active on Piazza (e.g. posting high-quality topics or comments a couple times a week) and complete your peer review tasks, you shouldn't ever need to worry about the participation policy. We expect that for the majority of students, you'll earn your participation points without really trying.

The following are the ways you may earn participation credit. In some cases, some categories have a maximum number of points that can be earned: the intention is that everyone should complete peer reviews, and therefore it is nearly impossible to satisfy your participation grade without completing the majority of your assigned peer review tasks.

  • 1.5 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review within 4 days of receiving it (by the end of the day Thursday).
  • 1.0 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review within 7 days of receiving it (by the end of the day Sunday).
  • 0.5 points: Fulfill* an assigned peer review 7 days or more after receiving it.
  • 1.0 points: Request and fulfill* an additional peer review.
  • 0.5 to 2.0 points: Post a high-quality contribution on Piazza (actual point value varies by post). (Maximum 25 points.)
  • 0.5 to 3.0 points: Contribute something new to the course library (actual point value varies by contribution). (Maximum 25 points.)
  • 3.0 points: Complete a classmate's request for project participation (e.g. complete a survey, beta test a tool, participate in an experiment).
  • Additional points: Additional points may be awarded based on other things that come up (for example, completing a student spotlight or bringing in a guest for a Q&A).

* - Note that for all peer reviews, the peer review itself must be useful; simply filling out the form and writing a sentence or two isn't sufficient to receive credit for peer reviews. Note some of the exemplary peer reviews from previous semesters to see what qualifies as a good peer review.

Grading Information

Your number of participation points will be averaged out of 75 possible points and included as 15% of your final average. Earning 75 points or above will give 100% of the possible participation credit.

To illustrate this policy, you might earn an A for your participation grade via any of the following:

  • Completing all 44 peer review tasks within four days of receiving them (66 points), and requesting 9 additional peer review tasks (9 points).
  • Completing all 44 peer review tasks within four days of receiving them (66 points), and participating a bit on Piazza (9 points).
  • Completing all 44 peer review tasks within seven days of receiving them (44 points), participating a good bit on Piazza (16 points), and contributing a few things to the course library (15 points).
  • Completing all 44 peer review tasks within seven days of receiving them (44 points), contributing a few things to the course library (16 points), and participating in five classmates' projects (15 points).
  • Completing all 44 peer review tasks more than seven days after receiving them (22 points), participating extensively on Piazza (25 points), contributing significantly to the course library (25 points), and participating in one classmate's project (3 points).

It's possible to complete your participation credit through peer review alone, through peer review and Piazza, through peer review and library contributions, through peer review and participation in classmates' projects, or through any combination of these things. It generally would be very difficult to complete your participation credit without completing the majority of your peer reviews, however.

Your current participation tally is posted around week 5, week 9, and week 13, so you can monitor how well you're doing. There is no mid-semester deadline on participation; you can take entire weeks off if necessary as long as you earn your points at some point during the semester. Given the higher density of peer review assignments early in the semester, you should aim to have 20 participation points by week 5, 40 by week 9, and 60 by week 13.