When my students ask questions and participate in discussion, class is more thoughtful, more fun, and more effective. I encourage their participation by checking in with them regularly, and making sure that they have time to speak and that they get a respectful hearing. Still, perhaps half of them never say a word. It seems like being in our mutual interest to get them to speak in class.
Because of these positive effects, like other teachers I have tried to encourage participation by making it part of the grading rubric. Some measures assess students' class presence within a particular timeframe, but this is hard to distinguish from attendance. More subtle is to give credit for speech, by filtering and counting contributions, whether online or in person. The speech measure is confounded by the fact that some students are happy to talk all the time while some never even want to. Without rewarding loudmouths or penalizing shy international students, what are best practices in scoring class participation?