Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions

By: Mary Bart

Motivating students to actively participate in class is a challenge even for the most experienced educators. The words “excruciating,” “agonizing,” and “mentally draining” likely come to mind. A lot of students 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.

If you’re looking for proven strategies to help stimulate more active learning, you’ll want to download this FREE special report Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions.


As proof of just how important classroom participation is to the learning process … and just hard it is to get students to participate … consider that most professors now include participation as part of the overall course grade. If they didn’t, few students would participate. And yet, despite the incentives to participate, research indicates that only about 25 percent of students in a course actively volunteer answers and contribute on a regular basis.

Of course every class has a couple overparticipators 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 it seems that a good number of students would rather listen, observe, or perhaps daydream rather than engage in the class discussion. Whether they’re shy, unprepared,or simply reluctant to share their thoughts and opinions, getting students to participate is a constant struggle.

Get proven strategies for facilitating effective classroom discussions

This special report features 11 articles that highlight effective strategies and tricks 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 or Not to Call: That Continues to Be the Question
  • Creating a Class Participation Rubric
  • Those Students Who Participate Too Much
  • Assessing Class Participation: One Useful Strategy
  • Teaching How to Question: Participation Rubrics

As a teacher you want to create a classroom environment that helps students of various learning styles and personalities to feel comfortable enough to contribute. To reach this goal requires a constant balancing act of encouraging quiet, reflective students to speak up and, occasionally, asking the most active learners to hold back from commenting in order to give others a chance. The 2009 report, Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions will provide you with practical strategies for doing just that.

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Faculty Focus contains a wealth of valuable material – not just about active student participation, but all of today’s hot button issues that are important to faculty and administrators. It’s packed with ideas, best practices, and other information you can use on the topics that impact your students, your school and your work, including:

  • Instructional Design
  • Faculty Development
  • Distance Learning
  • Classroom Management
  • Educational Assessment
  • Faculty Evaluation
  • Online Education
  • Curriculum Development
  • And much, much more.

Put an end to passive learning, with a copy of Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions, a special report developed to help you increase student participation in even the most lecture-centric course.

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