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Grading Discussion Board Participation

In a face-to-face classroom setting, students are expected to participate in class discussions and that participation is part of the equation when assessing performance.You may find that assessing this type of participation is ambiguous. How do you differentiate between a student who is active, but does not advance the discussion, from a student who speaks less frequently, but with greater impact?

Student interactions with the discussion board create a permanent record of participation, yet you also need to have reasonable expectations about what can be accomplished in an online discussion. Due to its Click to toggle glossary term definition: <begin definition> asynchronous <end definition>. nature, more time may be needed for well-articulated points to emerge in the online environment. In addition to providing a practical number of course discussion opportunities, students need timely and constructive responses regarding the quality of their contributions. Evaluation not only lets them know how they performed, but shapes the improvement of future interactions.

You can assign discussion grades within a Click to toggle glossary term definition: <begin definition> forum <end definition>. or Click to toggle glossary term definition: <begin definition> thread <end definition>.. You can assign grades based on their participation, on the quality of their posts, or a combination of the two. You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading forums and threads, but you need to create and associate the rubrics in advance. To learn more, see Rubrics.

The following table details the four steps in the discussion grading process.

The Grading Process
Activity Description
Create When you create a graded forum or thread, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. The name of the forum or thread is used as the column title. You can edit the title in the Grade Center.
Participate Students participate in the discussion. As the discussion progresses, you can participate and provide feedback by replying to, rating, and moderating posts. To learn more, see Participating in the Discussion Board and How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating).
Grade You view students' posts and assign grades. You can lock threads after they are graded.
View Grade The grades are saved in the discussion board and the Grade Center. Students can view their grades in My Grades.

Related Tutorials    Grading Discussion Forums video (pop-up). Click to toggle glossary term definition: <begin definition>   (Flash movie <end definition>. | 2m 15s | 4,576 KB) |  Grading Discussion Threads video (pop-up). Click to toggle glossary term definition: <begin definition>   (Flash movie <end definition>. | 3m 24s | 5,910 KB)

Next Steps

To learn about the functions you can perform in the discussion board, see these topics:

About the Discussion Board

Creating Forums in the Discussion Board

Creating Threads in the Discussion Board

Creating Group Discussions

Participating in the Discussion Board

Managing Discussions

Viewing Discussion Board Statistics

Grade Center