Grading participation in the classroom: The assumptions, challenges, and alternatives

Cheryl Holly, Sallie Porter, Tracy R. Vitale, Mercedes Echevarria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines the participation/interaction factor of student engagement as it relates to grading class participation. Optimum learning depends on students being actively engaged, supportive of each other, and civil in their exchanges. While vocal contributions are often viewed as the basis of class participation, there are multiple, flexible ways for students to participate and contribute. Although at times difficult, there are many benefits to grading classroom participation for students including encouraging students to prepare for class, developing of oral, aural, and language communication skills, allowing students to become competent in the language of the discipline, and encouraging students to think and reflect on issues and problems related to class content. Encouraging exploration of thoughts rather than finished products, eliminating the need to raise hands, being attentive to group dynamics, and being respectful of others’ points of view can assist in breaking down barriers and building a community that allows greater participation and a feeling of belonging. Meaningful engagement in learning activities related to class participation can support competency-based education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalTeaching and Learning in Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Research and Theory
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills


  • Class participation
  • College students
  • Competency-based education
  • Grading


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