Students who attend all or nearly all of the classes and offer a substantive comment or question in all or nearly all classes usually deserve A-range grades for the discussion portion of the grade.
Students who attend most classes and offer a substantive comment or question in half or fewer of them are likely to get B-range grades.
Students who attend all classes but never contribute to discussion, or students who miss a lot of classes but do engage in discussion when present, would earn C-range grades.
This is a change from my previous mathematical model, in which a student who attended all classes but only spoke in half of them would earn a 75 for discussion (100 for attendance, 50 for speaking, averaged). This term I have been very bad at tracking who spoke each day, so I need some guidelines to apply to my intuitive judgments on discussion.
See any pitfalls I should consider before adding this to my syllabus for next semester? I’ve already landed on two, plus I need to define substantive:
Silence in a class meeting that consists entirely of lecture, without opportunity for discussion, will naturally not count against you. I do not excuse absences, since students have the opportunity to make up missed classes.