Participation is part of the equation when assessing performance.

Student interactions with the discussion board create a permanent record of participation, yet you also need to have reasonable expectations about what can be accomplished in an online discussion. Due to its nature, more time may be needed for well-articulated points to emerge in the online environment. In addition to providing a practical number of course discussion opportunities, students need timely and constructive responses regarding the quality of their contributions. Evaluation not only lets them know how they performed, but shapes the improvement of future interactions.

The more information you can give your students the better they'll be able to meet or even exceed your expectations. Consider the following.

  • Deadlines. Do you want your students to post and reply in a certain timeframe?
  • Post Quality. Do you want posts to be a certain length? Follow a style manual?
  • Etiquette. Do you expect your students to interact in a productive and constructive manner?
  • Purpose. Is this discussion for peer review? Brainstorming? Critique? Sharing research findings?

Turn grading on

Before you can grade submissions to a forum you must turn grading on for the forum. Do this when you create the forum, before there are any student submissions.

More on grade settings


Grade submissions in Open Grader

Steps in Snap: Course Dashboard > Open Grader > Show Activities Requiring Grading

Steps in other themes: Course administration > Open Grader > Show Activities Requiring Grading

With Open Grader you can review student posts while grading them.

More on using Open Grader

You can also grade submissions in Gradebook.

Wondering how to know when a discussion needs grading? Jump to How to know what needs grading.