Encouraging class participation

Class participation is an important component to successful administration of lessons. Dull classes often record low performances and understanding. However, unmanaged participation can be time wasting, frustrating to lectures and confusing to students. For these reasons, it is important to have a clear way/method of allowing managed participation by students during lessons. Below are some tips that you can use to increase positive class participation;

Form a culture of participation

Student participation does not come naturally. In fact a huge percentage of the student would rather sit and take notes without interrupting the lecturer. With this at the back of our minds, it is important for instructors to formulate ethos that allows maximum student participation. Allowing students to interact during a class increasing their confidence, and at the same time making them feel like participants rather than just followers of a class. One way of increasing interaction is allowing students to comments on fellow students’ answers and comments.

Provide clear participation guidelines

One thing that is often overlooked is lack of participation skills/knowledge. By teaching students simple steps that can help them understand lessons better and in the process help their colleagues understand will indeed increase participation in your classes.

Changing the default position you occupy during classes

Naturally, teachers occupy the front most position of a classroom. This position is often intimidating for many students would not want an eye contact with their instructor as they ask or respond to questions. It is important to consider drifting from your default position during different parts of your lessons.

Consider tools that increase participation

Adding activities that will elicit discussions in your classes is an interesting way of encouraging participation. You can have discussions at the end of every lesson, role playing activities, et cetera. If you have well defined guidelines on the approach you use during those activities, you are likely to get high level of participation within your class. Use of technology to encourage participation is also very useful. You can use classroom polling systems to encourage student to participate actively. One way of doing this is allocation points to students based on their participation during lectures.