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  • can encourage regular engagement with the module
  • a flexible way to assess students i.e. online, in class etc
  • rewards students who prepare well
  • may reward loud and discourage quiet students regardless of ability
  • students may be marked unfairly due to language or other ability preventing participation in class
  • may be difficult to grade objectively over the whole module

Marks are generally allocated to seminar participation to encourage and reward students for preparing and contributing during their seminars. Although attendance and participation may be superficially seen as similar, they may be assessed quite differently. Grading participation rewards the development of interacting with peers, tutors, group work and the development of oral skills. As well as being used in seminar work, it may also apply to role plays, group assessments and any other form of active, independent learning.

In general, it is recommended that staff give marks for participation: i.e. positive contributions by students and indications of active learning. Deduction of marks for each missed session should be avoided as it implies that only attendance is being graded. The participation mark should reflect the students’ actual engagement and contribution, and assessment criteria should be made clear to students to avoid a 'quantity over quality' approach by students.

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Last Updated: 07/07/2016