How students will be assessed for participation is clearly defined in the course outline.
Students have multiple ways to demonstrate participation in the course.
Tips & Considerations
If the course has a participation component built in, ensure that the concept of participation is clearly defined for an online environment. The definition of participation might need to change from that used in a face-to-face environment. Consider using a rubric for participation that clearly lays out the criteria alongside descriptors. Make your definition of participation and your criteria for evaluating it broad enough to take into account the varied personal situations of the students in the coming term.
Provide students with one or two updates throughout the term on their participation mark. Participating in an online learning environment might be new to many students so the more clarity they receive about their degree of participation earlier in the term, the better. Consider having students self-assess their participation at the midway point using a rubric and then provide them with your assessment as well to see how they align.
Participation is often a pre-requisite for success in other assessments and so it may not need its own grade column. Consider whether you can redefine the participation component to be an ongoing discussion forum contribution assignment with clearly defined expectations.
Not all students will be able to attend all synchronous lectures and activities because of time zones or more local challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Build in options for both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for participation (for example, using Canvas Discussion forums). Try to avoid penalizing students for imperfect attendance during these times.