Classroom Challenge: Encouraging Student Participation

Having trouble getting students to speak up in class? This is one of the most common challenges we hear about when consulting with faculty about their teaching. Below are some resources you might find helpful if you're trying to increase student participation in your classes.

This section of the "Solve a Teaching Problem" tool at Carnegie Mellon's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence offers a range of teaching strategies to encourage student participation. The site invites teachers first to consider why students might be reluctant to join the conversation (Are they unprepared? unaccustomed to contributing in class? uncomfortable sharing certain kinds of ideas with their peers? unsure what you're looking for as an instructor?) and then suggests tailored solutions. 

Here on the CRLT website, we provide a range of resources to support your success in teaching discussion-based classes. See this page of Discussion-Based Teaching Strategies for ideas about how to get good conversations started, develop a classroom environment in which students engage readily, and manage several issues that can arise in a discussion--from dominators to classroom controversy.  

Elsewhere on our website, you can get great ideas from outstanding U-M teachers about engaging students in and out of the classroom. Check out this series of videos of Thurnau professors discussing their strategies for inspiring students' active involvement in learning. 

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