Karma points are used by various online communities to encourage engagement and increase participation. Karma points reflect contributions to the community.
In the online classroom, Karma points can be used to motivate students, encourage them to remain engaged in discussions and help them evaluate each others posts.
The idea behind karma points is that the learning community, not a moderator or an instructor, should be responsible for:
- determining the value of community members’ posting in terms of helping the community achieve specific goals, and
- awarding those valued contributions.
I started thinking about this when I was re-reading The Online Learning Idea Book edited by Patti Shank. Joanna Dunlap contributed an idea for using Karma points in the classroom in the book.
Students Can Improve Chances of Receiving Karma Points by:
- Choosing provocative subject lines to make our postings stand out.
- Presenting their own perspectives.
- Constructing an argument. Provide evidence, present a rationale that supports our positions, and reference the opinions of others, linking to supplementary evidence when appropriate.
- Starting a debate by remembering that the best response is one that gets people thinking, and that makes them want to reply.
You can read some of her ideas on using Karma points here – http://thoughtsonteaching-jdunlap.blogspot.com/2007/05/karma-points-for-discussion-assessment.html
Class participation Karma points – http://academic.udayton.edu/legaled/remedies/00Syllabus/grade01b.htm