If there’s one thing all teachers feel would make their jobs easier, it is student participation. Your job is to engage your students in learning, after all. That task is much easier when they are willing to share their ideas and ask questions.
How can you get more students to participate? Here are a few tips:
- Set the expectation. If you haven’t already, let your students know that you expect them to contribute to the class dialogue. You can certainly make participation part of their grades, but express your desire that they ask questions and offer their input and ideas.
- Get to know your students as individuals. The more you know about your students and their learning styles, interests, and motivations, the easier it is for you to get them involved and excited in class.
- Use technology. Today’s generation of students is accustomed to using digital tools and apps to augment their learning. They expect that their teachers will integrate those things into their educational experience.
- Lecture only when you have to. The more you talk “at” your students, the less involved they feel in the learning experience. Try cooperative learning techniques that get students participating, or flip your classroom and do activities in the classroom (vs. having students do them on their own at home).
- Break students into groups. Some students are more likely to open up to their peers. Small group work is a more comfortable setting for some students who feel intimidated speaking up in front of you and all of their classmates.
You set the tone for good participation in your class, so keep working on it. When you cultivate this type of environment, your students benefit greatly from that positive energy and encouragement.