September 11, 2012

Classroom Engagement?

Week 4! Woo!

This week's prompt: A syllabus to a course states that "classroom engagement" is 10% of the course grade.

The obvious question is what do you mean by classroom engagement? Is this the same as participation? Or is there is a difference? I think classroom engagement is vague and can be interpreted in many ways. If I were to have this on my syllabus, I would take classroom engagement to mean students are actively involved in the learning process. This means they are taking notes, asking questions, answering questions, going up to the board to show their work, etc. Now I'm starting to think, how would you grade this? That gets trickier. I guess you could stamp notes and check them at the end of the week. I have tracked participation on a seating chart, so that's another idea.

Personally, I would not have "classroom engagement" on my syllabus because it is too broad and not easily measurable. What do you guys think? If you have this on your syllabus, I'd like to hear how you grade it in your classroom.


  1. A friend of mine put a spin on this in her college class. She gives her students a "professionalism" grade. This encompasses a lot of things, but the main idea is that she's trying to foster professional behavior students need when they join the work force. A few examples of things she looks for are showing up on time, doing work neatly, and general engagement. If you're falling asleep in class, imagine what they would be like if you were on the job? I'd have to check, but I think everyone starts with an A, but she deducts points for unprofessional behavior. It still seems like it can be a lot to manage, but I like that it's done with more purpose than just assessing participation or engagement.

    1. I really like the idea of a "professionalism" grade. That makes more sense and is specific.