Class Participation (Fall 2023)

HCI is a deeply collaborative field, and there is no better way to learn than to interact with your peers, to participate in one another’s usability studies, and to see the variety of approaches taken by your classmates to the class’s assignments. Thus, participation is required. However, we understand that requiring participation has a tendency to incite inauthentic participation. Our goal with the participation policy is to give students enough ways to fulfill their participation credit in the way that is most natural and useful to them.

There are a number of different ways to earn participation points. Our goal is for the participation policy to be “invisible” to most students, in that organic participation is sufficient to fulfill these requirements. If you are active on the forum (e.g. posting high-quality topics or comments a couple times a week) and complete your peer review tasks, you shouldn’t ever need to worry about the participation policy. We expect that for the majority of students, you’ll earn your participation points without really trying.

The following are the ways you may earn participation credit.

  • 0.5 to 1.5 points: Provide a classmate a peer review. You will be assigned three peer reviews per assignment by default, and you may request to give up to three additional peer reviews. Reviews submitted within 4 days of the original assignment deadline are worth 1.5 points; within 7 days of the original assignment deadline are worth 1.0 points; and beyond 7 days are worth 0.5 points. Note that for all peer reviews, the peer review itself must be useful; simply filling out the form and writing a sentence or two isn’t sufficient to receive credit for peer reviews.
  • 0.1 to 3.0 points each: Post a high-quality contribution on the forum (actual point value varies by post; make sure your Georgia Tech email is attached to your forum account). (Maximum 40 points.)
  • 0.5 point each: Complete a classmate’s request for assignment or project participation.
  • 0.5 point each: Submit a candidate exam question to the form on Canvas. (Maximum 10 points.)
  • 2.0 point each: Submit an annotated bibliography entry to the form on Canvas. (Maximum 20 points.)
  • 1.0 point each: Complete one of the four course surveys (start-of-course, quarter-course, mid-course, and end-of-course), or other surveys indicated as eligible for participation points on the Quizzes page on Canvas.
  • 1.0 points Complete this page’s secret survey before week 2 to indicate you read the entire syllabus; to access it, click the word ‘secret’ earlier in this sentence.
  • Additional points: Additional points may be awarded based on other things that come up (for example, completing a student spotlight or bringing in a guest for a Q&A).

Grading Information

Your number of participation points will be averaged out of 100 possible points and included as 10% of your final average. Earning 100 points or above will give 100% of the possible participation credit. To help you track your progress, we will post participation updates at least three times during the semester (around weeks 6, 12, and 17). Participation grades will be finalized on Friday of Week 17, so you should complete all participation activities by Thursday of Week 17.

It’s possible to complete your participation credit through peer review alone if you request additional peer reviews each week. You can also complete it through peer review and the forum, through peer review and study participation, or through any combination of these things. It generally would be very difficult to complete your participation credit without completing the majority of your assigned peer reviews, however.

There is no mid-semester deadline on participation; you can take entire weeks off if necessary as long as you earn your points at some point during the semester. Most participation categories are reasonably objective (peer reviews, participation tokens, surveys, and library contributions), so you should be able to self-monitor between updates.