Participation for an A?

I’ll be completely honest, I really dislike participating in class, or rather, talking in class. I always find it a bit unfair for professors to count participation as a quarter or a fifth of your grade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully attentive, I do my work, my homework, etc. But I’m not much of a talker in class. I’ve always found it unfair for students who are far more reserved to have participation be a substantial chunk of their grades.


I’m one of those more reserved students. I’m facing this situation in one of my communications classes. I love the class, I actively do my readings, I do fairly well on the exams, and I just got an A on our theoretical applications paper. BUT there has not been one time where I have raised my hand to ask a question, or to add an idea. The professor has made participation a fifth of our grade.


I rarely have any questions to ask, and I understand the material pretty well. I’m doing good in the class, overall, so I don’t think there should even be a grade on participation. I show up to class, I pay attention, and I show my knowledge of the material on exams and papers. I think that should be counted as my participation.


I understand that the professor wants us to engage with him during the lectures, but I personally feel like there are enough students who will talk, so forcing us to speak in class is a bit cynical in my view. I see it as forceful; if you don’t talk, you won’t get an A. This especially sucks for me because I’m engaged in the class and am on the track to earning an A, but that won’t happen because twenty percent of our grade is participation, which means that the highest grade I can get is like a B.


I don’t know, do you guys think I’m tripping? What do you guys think?

Fernando lopez

One thought on “Participation for an A?

  1. Fernando, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The past five years I’ve been much better at speaking up in class, but sometimes I just want to sit down and observe or listen. I feel like many teachers put such an emphasis on participation that it sometimes hinders the conversation. Some people just speak just to be heard and many times I as a student want to listen to the teacher teach. It’s such a weird thing to say for us I guess because as English majors we are pushed to always have discussions and to analyze and talk about it. But, sometimes it does feel forced, and there are simply times where we might truly not have anything to say.

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