A word is worth 1,000 points

Cartoon by Wyce Mirzad

At school, professors grade students based on how well they perform on assignments and tests. However, professors also have the option to grade students on participation.

Participation shouldn’t be included in a course’s curriculum. It could give an incentive for teachers to grade students they like with positive scores and others they don’t like with negative ones.  

Participation isn’t a clear way to grade a student’s work ethic. If it is so effective then, students that show higher participation should be the ones with the highest grades in class, but that isn’t always the case.  

Some professors believe that class discussions can enhance their students learning. Sometimes when a student participates in class they are not contributing to the subject, but rather are giving their experiences.

The site, The Bull & Bear wrote, “Such a system threatens to punish some students, while at the same time increases class time wasted on useless interjections.”

Speaking out loud doesn’t reflect a student’s ability to remember the material. Some students give out responses that have no real meaning.

The site, The Bull & Bear wrote, “Students either go to classes to contribute irrelevant comments for the sake of receiving marks, lose 5 to 10 percent off their final grade because there is no real incentive to attend.”

Students grades shouldn’t be based around just meeting a requirement.

Specific classes like Speech 101 or Theatre 270 require students to participate in class, but that same standard shouldn’t be applied to all classes. Expecting students to respond to a question in class they have never encountered can leave them dazed.  

Instead, professors should encourage an open classroom where participation isn’t mandatory. Participation should be an option for students if they want to ask questions for a deeper explanation on what their professor lectures on.  

To encourage students to come to class, professors can have short quizzes that account for small portions of the students grades. This can be done periodically throughout the semester and can focus on the lecture from that day. This would require students to stay the whole lecture and focus on what the professor is presenting.  

Professors can also ask students to keep journals or side notes and turn them in at the end of class. Students can also, give feedback and ask to go in further detail on a specific subject during next class.  

If professors take away mandatory participation, then students will be more comfortable in their class and will show higher quality in their performance.