Class participation is an integral part of the online-educational experience. Participation requirements vary from institution to institution and may be a graded part of the curriculum. At the University of Phoenix participation is a graded activity in every class and entails responding to class discussions in the form of Discussion Questions (DQ’s) or other posts to the main newsgroup.
Students must post two responses on four of the seven days in the class week to meet participation requirements. These responses must be “substantive in nature and add to the learning experience of the class”. Simply submitting “I agree” or other meaningless posts will not help meet the requirements.
Professors are free to determine the weight of participation toward the overall grade for the class and to assign partial credit if they wish. Some professors impose a minimum word count requirement for responses to be credited toward participation. Typical ranges in my experience were in the range of 100 to 200 words. Some professors only imposed the “substantive in nature” requirement.
My participation strategy was to complete my participation requirements by Friday of each week. This left time on the weekend to concentrate on other assignments.