In 6.033, we define participation as follows:


Grade Breakdown

Each of these rubrics contains the phrase "almost every recitation" for a reason. We understand that you may need to miss 1-2 recitations during the semester. Missing up to two recitations will not impact your final grade. Missing more, however, will. The easiest way to lower the impact of any absences is to be engaged in and participate fully in the recitations that you do attend.

Preliminary Grades

We don't break your participation grade down into an exact formula because each recitation presents different opportunities for participation. To make up for this lack of specificity, we will issue preliminary recitation participation grades throughout the semester (you can see the exact dates on the calendar). These preliminary grades are the grade we'd give you if we had to assign a final grade at that point.

We know that participating may look slightly different given that we're in a virtual environment, but we highly encourage you to speak up during class. Please reach out to your TA if you have any extenuating circumstances that may prevent you from doing so, or to get tips on how to improve your participation grade.


I have a concern about how my living situation will impact my participation; whom should I contact? Once we've assigned you a recitation section, please get in touch with your recitation instructor. We will work with you to find an individual solution. For example, in 2020 we had a few students who were unable to participate verbally in recitations because of background noise; we developed ways for them to participate in the zoom chat instead.

I don't want to turn my camera on during recitation; will my participation grade suffer? We know that some of you might be uncomfortable turning your camera on for a variety of reasons, which is why we don't require it in recitations (though we strongly encourage it). Not having your camera on makes it more difficult for us to gauge whether you're paying attention, since we lose one of the clearest cues (whether you're looking at the screen or not). But as long as you can demonstrate your engagement in recitation in other ways, this will be fine.

I'm anxious about my participation grade. Whom should I contact? First, some reassurance: the vast majority of students do well with participation in 6.033. We've designed the recitations so that there are lots of opportunities to participate, and while past trends don't always dictate future results, we typically give many A's for participation.

You'll receive preliminary participation grades throughout the semester to let you know how you're doing, but you can always email your TA or instructor for personalized advice on how you're doing and what you could do to improve (if you need to).

I need to miss a single recitation. Can I make it up somehow? In general, no. The majority of participation happens in class, and we don't' have the staff to run off-schedule recitations for students who miss one. Missing up to two recitations will have no impact on your final grade.

I need to miss multiple recitations because of a medical or personal issue. Is that possible? We will do our best to work with you in these situations, especially if we know about them early. Make sure you're in contact with someone at S3, and reach out to your recitation instructor so that we can come up with a plan.