Tips for Encouraging Student
Participation in Classroom
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Tips for Encouraging Student Participation
in Classroom Discussions
Motivating students to participate in classroom discussions is a subject unto itself.
The words “excruciating,” “agonizing,” and “mentally draining” may come to mind.
There are some students who seem to assume that as long as the assigned work is
completed on time, test scores are good, and attendance is satisfactory, they shouldn’t be
forced to participate. It’s not that they don’t think participation improves the classroom
experience, they just prefer that other students do the participating.
Of course we all have a few over-participators who are eager to volunteer every answer
(sometimes to the point of dominating the discussion, which creates its own problems for
educators and fellow students alike) but a good number of students prefer to listen,
observe, or daydream rather than engage in the class discussion. Whether they’re shy,
unprepared, or simply reluctant to share their ideas, getting students to participate is a
This special report features 11 articles from The Teaching Professor that highlight effective
strategies for establishing the expectation of participation, facilitating meaningful discussion, using questions appropriately, and creating a supportive learning environment.
Articles you will find in this report include:
• Putting the Participation Puzzle Together
• Student Recommendations for Encouraging Participation
• To Call on or Not to Call on: That Continues to Be the Question
• Creating a Class Participation Rubric
• Those Students Who Participate Too Much
There is some debate in the literature as to whether students have the right to remain
silent in a class, but if you’re looking for ways to facilitate more effective discussions,
Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions will help....