The main problem with tracking occurs when students ask questions or add comments for the sake of getting more tally marks, rather than for the purposes of facilitating genuine conversation. A few measures can fix this so that the conversation can be organic. First, tracking should not be the only means of grading. A tracking system is mainly an observational tool used to inform practice and to set goals.
If you share your tracking system with the students in order to provide feedback, make sure that it is not strictly connected to a grade. For example, six comments earn an A, four comments is a B and so on. This will usually encourage talk for the sake of talking. Work the concept of progress over time into the system so that you do not automatically penalize shy students. This way two contributions from a shy student can be an A and eight comments from a talkative student could also be an A. Students could also have individualized goals to aim for in order to earn specific grades.
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