Category Archives: Collaborative Leadership

Grading Class Participation

Last year I taught an advanced course in psychology using a discussion seminar format. I wanted class participation to count toward students’ grades, but I did not want to give students points just for speaking. I wanted the grades to reflect the quality of their contributions.  My solution was to have students use a rubric to evaluate the quality of their own class participation at the end of each week.

We created the rubric as a class. I had students examine the following three class participation rubrics I found online:

Using these examples as the starting point, the class and I developed our own rubric.

Each week, students explained how many points they thought they deserved on each element of the rubric. Using the students’ explanation and my own recollections of class, I determined the number of points the student actually received.


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Group Processing

Consider these two course characteristics in your Collaborative Leadership courses:

  • provide ongoing individual or group feedback on the collaborative leadership process
  • ask students to reflect on growth in collaborative leadership skills and dispositions
You can do both of these things at the same time by having students engage in group processing at the end of each group session.  Rather than letting students finish their task and walk away, have them spend a few minutes discussing what each group member did to contribute to the group’s work and setting a goal for their future work together.
Students can provide each group member with positive feedback about whatever that individual did best in contributing to the group.  Alternatively, students can focus on what they did well in a particular domain: contributing ideas, active listening, checking for understanding, etc.
Group processing is an important part of cooperative learning.  To learn more about cooperative learning, visit

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