To you, the instructor, classroom participation is a signal that students are engaged with you and your course. It also demonstrates that they’re eager to learn and contribute to the conversations you’re having around course concepts. Whether they’re asking and answering questions, collaborating in groups and teams, contributing on discussion boards, or sharing what they’ve observed, their participation shows the active role they’re taking in the learning process.
Obviously, the work you do as the instructor plays a vital role in creating a lively, collaborative environment in which students can learn. But, do students recognize and acknowledge the role that they play as individuals in keeping a class session active and engaging?
When we recently conducted our Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked students if they believed that they were primarily responsible for their own level of participation in class. Over four thousand students answered the question. Here’s how they responded:
According to these results, 97% of students do believe they are responsible for the amount of effort they put into class participation. They recognize that, in order to be participatory, they themselves must make the effort, and that they shouldn’t (and can’t) rely on someone else to do it for them.
But what if it appears that they aren’t participating during your class sessions? Perhaps they need some strategies to build their confidence, or they need some help in identifying additional ways they can contribute, collaborate, and participate.
Ways to increase classroom participation
If you’re hoping to increase the level of participation in your classroom—or, if students express a desire to increase their own level of participation in class—review the following posts from the Engaging Minds blog for additional ideas and suggestions.