I was reflecting after a class session recently on this one student who I know pretty well and their tendency to unintentionally dominate conversation. They don't do it out of a staunch desire to be heard or persuade; they just have a tendency to ramble a little as they process externally in a way that you sometimes have to cut them off to get them to stop talking. In a play-nice, female-dominated field like public health that rarely happens, so the result (unless you're willing to cut them off) can be them dominating conversation.
That got me to thinking about external processors vs. internal processors. Most instructors have had that student who has incredibly thoughtful things to say, but rarely speaks up during class discussion. And if you've ever probed further, you may have heard that it takes them a while to formulate ideas about it or the subject has moved on by the time they have figured out what their question or statement is and they end up not saying anything.
So what would it look like if participation weren't just a matter of "you have to speak in class" but rather provided an option: you can either push this discussion forward in the synchronous part of the session or on the blog and your participation grade will be based on both of those things. Currently, I tend to see it as one or the other is the graded part where online classes tend to do forum posts of some kind and residential ones tend to value in-class participation. But as we have more of these hybrid real-time and online component learning situations, how can we use that to advantage different styles of processing information?
I've been on both sides of the participation spectrum, taking turns talking either too much or too little, rarely finding the goldilocks spot of participation. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this "participation in this course will consist of these specifically delineated things" approach to student engagement with the material, but I might try this out next semester...