We recommend adding a "buffer" to the weekly maximum. A good rule-of-thumb is to set the maximum by taking the total number of points each student can earn on Yellowdig for the course, dividing it by the number of weeks, and then adding an additional 20% to the previous calculation. Here's the formula:
weekly max = (total points / # of weeks) + .20(total points / # of weeks)
This 20% buffer allows learners to make up for 1 week of missed participation by getting the maximum points during 5 other weeks.
Why? The point maximum ensures that learners interact with the platform over the entire course and cannot receive all of their participation points in just the last week of the course. In turn, this means that students who haven't contributed to meaningful discussions throughout the semester will receive worse grades than highly active students. The suggested buffer gives learners some flexibility in managing time, participation, and illness, and it will reduce the amount of time you spend addressing learners' concerns about grades.