Example 1: Instructor-facilitated Online Discussion Participation Rubric

Participation in the discussion forums is critical for maximizing student learning experiences in any online course.  In this course, students are required to be a part of an online community of learners who collectively interact, through discussion, to enhance and support the professional performance of each other. Part of the assessment criteria for the course includes evaluating the quality and quantity of your participation in the discussion forum.

As the instructor, I will facilitate student discussions but I will not address every single post. In most cases, I might share a related idea, intervene when the discussion goes off-track, or tie student comments together to help deepen student learning. Consequently, I will not directly answer questions in the discussion area unless they are addressed to me. I will check the discussions daily during the week, and occasionally on the weekends.

Some characteristics I consider to be part of excellent discussion contributions are outlined below. I will consider these characteristics when assessing the quality and level of student participation.

  • Submit initial post(s) early in the session, and subsequent responses to the posts of other learners at timely intervals throughout the duration of the session. The goal is to have a dynamic discussion around the topic that lasts throughout the entire session.
  • Posts and responses should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an "I agree" or "Good ideas" will not be considered adequate. Support statements with examples, experiences, or references. Be brief — keep each post and response to one or two short paragraphs. Keep in mind that fellow learners will be reading and responding to you, too.
  • Posts should be within a range of 75-150 words. If a post does not meet the minimum word count of 75, I will not count it toward your grade.
  • Make certain that all posts and responses address the question, problem, or situation as presented for discussion. This does not mean you should not extend the topic, but do not stray from the topic.
  • Discussions occur when there is dialogue; therefore, you need to build upon the posts and responses of other learners to create discussion threads. Make sure to revisit the discussion forum and respond (if necessary) to what other learners have posted to your initial responses.
  • When relevant, add to the discussion by including prior knowledge, work experiences, references, web sites, resources, etc. (giving credit when appropriate).
  • Contributions to the discussions (posts and responses) should be complete and free of grammatical or structural errors.

Discussion Participation Rubric

Criteria

Unsatisfactory

Satisfactory

Exemplary

Quantity and Timeliness

Does not submit at least one initial response early in the session and/or does not submit at least two peer responses closer to the end of the session.

 

3 points

Submits at least one initial response early in the session, and at least two peer responses closer to the end of the session.

 


3.75 points

Submits one initial response early in the session, and two or more thoughtful peer responses early in the session, and more than two peer responses closer to the end of the session.

5 points

Spelling and mechanics

Does not submit posts that are in complete sentences.  Or two or more of the complete sentences are grammatically incorrect and have greater than 2 spelling errors.

3 points

Submits posts that have one or more grammatically incorrect sentences and two spelling errors.


3.75 points

Submits posts that contain grammatically correct sentences without any spelling errors.

 

5 points

Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of content and applicability to professional practice

Post(s) and responses show little evidence of knowledge and understanding of course content and applicability to professional practice.

 


3 points

Post(s) and responses show evidence of knowledge and understanding of course content and applicability to professional practice.

 


3.75 points

Post(s) and responses show evidence of knowledge and understanding of course content and applicability to professional practice, and include other resources that extend the learning of the community.

5 points

Generates learning within the community

Posts do not attempt to elicit responses and reflections from other learners and/or responses do not build upon the ideas of other learners to take the discussion deeper.


3 points

Posts attempt to elicit responses and reflections from other learners and responses build upon the ideas of other learners to take the discussion deeper.

 

3.75 points

Posts elicit responses and reflections from other learners and responses build upon and integrate multiple views from other learners to take the discussion deeper.

5 points

Total Possible Points: 20 points

Note: Customize the total number of points depending on how much participation counts in the overall course design.