by Julie Dodd
Why are some students ready to answer every question while other students are silent throughout the class?
As a member of the University of Florida’s Graduate Student Awards Committee, I have the opportunity to observe a wide range of classes, including Mindful Leadership, Cities of the World, and Expository and Argumentative Writing. I’ve observed classes with more than 200 students and classes with fewer than a dozen students.
The eager to talk students and reticent to talk students exist in every classroom setting.
Getting students actively involved in college classes is a goal to promote more effective learning.
So how can you get students to participate?
I recently observed a sociology class with 26 students. During the 50-minute class period, 14 different students talked – asking questions, answering questions, or sharing insights.
The graduate student teaching the sociology class did a good job of getting half the class to participate. Here are strategies she used to promote class involvement: