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Teaching Excellence Program

Strategies for Managing Uneven Class Participation

Date: 11:30am - 12:30pm PDT September 24, 2019 Location: J.R. Howard Hall 302

J.R. Howard Hall 302

Ideally, every student has a chance to participate (out loud or otherwise) every class day. As research by Elise Dallimore and colleagues suggests, most students see class participation (their own and others’) as contributing positively to their learning by increasing engagement, enhancing memory, confirming and clarifying prior learning, and deepening understanding. That said, the extent to which students participate is often uneven. Sometimes it is incredibly challenging to engage particular students. Other times it is hard to get certain students to stop talking! 

To spark ideas about student participation, please take a look at Erin Templeton’s post: Silence is Golden…Unless and David Gooblar’s reflection: Getting Them to Stop Talking. And for those of you who teach larger classes, you might appreciate Kelli Marshall’s suggestions: How to Work the Lecture Hall

Here are some questions to consider: 

-To what extent is student participation important in your courses?

-What pedagogical strategies do you use to facilitate learning from student participation?

-How do you engage the more reserved students and “slow down” the more talkative ones?

-What do you do when a class discussion falls flat? Or when the answer to a question you asked is the sound of silence?

-In larger courses, how do you help students feel like active participants each class day?

All TEP Pedagogy Lunches last about an hour and meet in the conference room in JR Howard Hall 302 (unless stated otherwise). Topics and suggested readings are posted 1-2 weeks before each meeting.  You are welcome to bring your own lunch. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided.  

Although an RSVP is not required, a rough headcount would be helpful. If you plan to attend the TEP lunch, please RSVP below or email

Registration for this event is now closed.