Perusall’s assignment engagement scores use “gamification” to improve the out-of-class learning process, encouraging students to interact with and learn from the material and each other. Perusall’s goal is to help every student get full credit for this part of your class. Perusall apprises students if they are on track for earning full credit, and sends special “nudges” to students falling behind so they will wind up with full credit too.
Instructors typically assign about 5-20% of course grades to the Perusall engagement scores or the combination of the Perusall engagement scores and class participation. We use the Perusall score in our own classes as a way to motivate students to engage thoughtfully, rather than as a way to differentiate students; if all students earn full credit, then we see that as a success. To that end, we encourage you to set a target score for full credit that is easy to reach, to ensure that students can easily earn full credit through meaningful, organic engagement. For example, since the default Perusall assignment scores are on a scale of 0-3, you might consider counting a 2/3 as full credit for each assignment.
We suggest that you announce to students that misuse of Perusall -- for example, posting comments as their own that are copied from the text or from external web sites -- will be treated as every other type of academic misconduct and will, at a minimum, result in an overall Perusall score of zero for the semester.
Finally, we also suggest that you provide students with two documents relating to Perusall. First, you can download and modify a one-page rubric that explains what Perusall is, how it works, and how students are graded. (You may need to edit this document to reflect the scoring settings you have set for your course.) You can also provide students with a set of example annotations with associated quality scores and an explanation for each score, to help them get a feel for what sorts of comments and questions they should be posting.