A perfect grade for participation simply means that the student attended class and demonstrated his/her pre-class preparation by preparing summaries of the readings, making relevant comments, and asking relevant questions during class time, especially the time allocated for discussion.

A major part of the participation grade will be based on students submitting summaries of the articles for the week.  Each week, several scholarly articles will be assigned relevant to the topic for that week. Students are responsible for reading each chapter or article before the discussion period for that topic (which will usually be during the Wednesday class period).  Summaries should be submitted for all articles listed as Background or Discussion on the schedule.

The participation grade (10 percent total) will be calculated as follows:

  • A base 10 percent will be based on written responses to the assigned readings. Each student should prepare a written response for each article, as follows:
    • Each summary should be approximately 200-300 words, should be in the student’s own words, and should contain important information about the article, including information not found in the abstract. The summary should also contain at least one question that the student would like to ask the author(s) of the article.
    • Summaries should be posted to the blog AND emailed to the instructor by class time on the day of the discussion. (Note: students do not need to prepare a summary of the article for which they will serve as discussant.)  (The purpose of emailing is to simplify time-stamping of the submissions as well as avoid copying issues;  the purpose of posting to the blog is so that people can read each other’s posts and questions, especially come exam time).
  • This 10 percent will be adjusted based on in-class discussion of readings during the class meetings.  If you participate regularly (perhaps not every class, but in many classes), you will receive the full grade earned above.  If you do not participate at all, the above grade will be reduced by up to 50 percent.  Participation includes asking thoughtful and relevant questions, answering questions posed by the discussant or instructor, or making a thoughtful comment or criticism about the readings.