Why Do This
To encourage meaningful forum contributions, grade the forums based on:
- Quantitative and qualitative contributions to the discussion
- Responsiveness to discussion and demonstration of knowledge and understanding gained
from assigned readings.
- Adherence to forum etiquette and protocols as described in your syllabus
There are two different ways to review and grade a student’s forum contributions:
- Assigning individual grades (ratings) for each post and reply. This is best used when
you want to evaluate the students’ posts in the context of the entire discussion.
- Grading all of the forum activity for a student in a holistic manner, assigning one
grade for the quality of all posts combined. When you use this method, only one of
the student’s posts will have a grade assigned, so you will need to explain to students
that the grade covers all posts for that forum.
See Faculty Guides>Forums>About Forums for a description of the 5 forum types, when
to use each, the different ways to use forums and how to write effective forum questions.
Access the Forum
- Log on to Cougar Courses and go to the main page of your course.
- Click Turn editing on.
- Access the forum in one of two ways:
a. Hover your mouse over the This course tab at the top of Cougar Courses and select
Forums. From the forums page, locate and click on the forum name.
b. Locate the forum in the appropriate course section and click the forum name.
Grading Each Post
- Click on the title of the first discussion thread.
- The initial discussion appears with the replies nested below. Read the initial discussion.
Use the rating dropdown and select the score you wish to assign to this post.
Note, the scoring (rating) method is determined by you during the forum settings when
you select the Aggregate type.
- Continue reading the replies to the initial discussion and assigning a score from
the rating box below the post.
Assigning One Grade for All Posts by a Student
You will need to refer to a list of the enrolled course participants. One way to do
this is to go to the Navigation
block>Courses>Course name>Participants. Select all, copy and paste into a Word document.
- Access the forum, by following steps 1-3 above.
- Click the Search forums button at the top of the screen.
- In the Advanced search screen, select the forum you are grading from the “Choose which forums to search” dropdown.
- In the last field: “This name should match the author”,enter the last name of the first student on your list of particpants.
- Click Search forums.
- Read all posts and determine the combined score for all posts. Use the rating dropdown
to grade one of the posts, usually the student’s discussion post (not replies), or
to the best post.
- In the Search forums field, delete only the text after “user:” This should be the name of the previously graded
- Type the next student’s name at the end of the search field text, leaving the remainder of the text intact. Repeat grading and replacing the last name until you've worked through the list