Participation Policies and Student Motivation
The participation issue that seems as perplexing and less resolved than the how-much-should-it count question is the practice of trying to motivate participation by offering credit for it. If there aren’t points involved, most faculty seem pretty well convinced that no or very little student participation would occur. So the points end up being a kind of default position which prevent us from having to do all the talking. Yes, I know, students benefit when they participate. Participation policies are for them, not us—at least that’s what we tell ourselves.