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“Participation Grades: An Argument for Self-Assessments, the Potential to Reproduce Inequalities, and Preventive Suggestions”
2021, Teaching Philosophy  2. DOI: 10.5840/teachphil2021518146
Abstract: I argue that instructor-graded participation assessments, which are one of the most popular ways to incentivize classroom participation, either fail to satisfactorily assess student participation or are open to issues of unconscious instructor bias. I then argue that a better way to assess participation is to use student self-assessments. Student-self assessments not only avoid these issues, but also have other added benefits like cultivating student self-reflection which is associated with academic gains. However, self-assessments pose new worries about under confidence biases and cultural differences for some students from diverse backgrounds. This is particularly worrisome since many students in these situations are already vulnerable to systemic biases. If there is a possibility that self-assessments might reinforce inequalities, great care needs to be taken in how they are designed and implemented. I then present a way to approach student self-assessment surveys and ways to frame classroom participation to help lessen the chance that these self-assessments will reinforce inequalities.
Teaching works in progress
Structuring Student Reflection: Opinion Polls and Reflection Papers
This paper outlines an assignment structure that uses opinion polls and reflection papers. One noticeable benefit of this assignment structure is that it gets students to do philosophy. These assignments together require students to reflect on the beliefs and their reasons for those beliefs by making them to outline those reasons. After the relevant material has been covered, students retake the opinion poll to see how their beliefs have changed. Depending on their post-unit opinion poll result, they are then required to write one of four paper assignments .