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Getting Students to Participate Stephen Brookfield University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul www.todaysmeet.com www.stephenbrookfield.com Stephen.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Students to Participate Stephen Brookfield University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul www.todaysmeet.com www.stephenbrookfield.com Stephen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Students to Participate Stephen Brookfield University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul Stephen Brookfield University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul

2 Setting Up Today’s Meet ….

3 Situating Stephen How we learn frames how we teach Participation in School – Correctly Answering Teachers’ Questions / Socratic Guidance to Correctness Good College Students – Sound Smart, Speak a Lot, Use Correct Language, Evince A Sophisticated Understanding of the Material How we learn frames how we teach Participation in School – Correctly Answering Teachers’ Questions / Socratic Guidance to Correctness Good College Students – Sound Smart, Speak a Lot, Use Correct Language, Evince A Sophisticated Understanding of the Material

4 Question What stops you from participating in a class, professional development session or meeting?

5 What Students Say…. I don’t want to risk looking stupid I don’t know what you mean by participating It’s uncool to be enthusiastic There is no reward for participating I’m a shy introvert It’s your job to teach, not mine to participate I don’t want to risk looking stupid I don’t know what you mean by participating It’s uncool to be enthusiastic There is no reward for participating I’m a shy introvert It’s your job to teach, not mine to participate

6 What Students Say They Want We need to know what you mean by this - what participation looks like should be clearly described & operationalized We need to see how it will be assessed & rewarded – how taking it seriously benefits us We like it when you provide clear structure, guidance & protocols to help it happen We appreciate you incorporating social media to demonstrate participation We learn how to do this better if you guide us along the way & make adjustments as required Don’t forget us introverts & ESL speakers We need to know what you mean by this - what participation looks like should be clearly described & operationalized We need to see how it will be assessed & rewarded – how taking it seriously benefits us We like it when you provide clear structure, guidance & protocols to help it happen We appreciate you incorporating social media to demonstrate participation We learn how to do this better if you guide us along the way & make adjustments as required Don’t forget us introverts & ESL speakers

7 Operationalizing Participation Class Participation Grading Rubric – 20% _D._Brookfield/Home.html - click on ‘Workshop Materials’ & scroll down to ‘Class Participation Grading Rubric’ _D._Brookfield/Home.html Rubric lists specific behaviors that are examples of good student participation, for example: Ask a question or make a comment that shows you are interested in what another person says Ask a question or make a comment that encourages another person to elaborate on something they have already said Class Participation Grading Rubric – 20% _D._Brookfield/Home.html - click on ‘Workshop Materials’ & scroll down to ‘Class Participation Grading Rubric’ _D._Brookfield/Home.html Rubric lists specific behaviors that are examples of good student participation, for example: Ask a question or make a comment that shows you are interested in what another person says Ask a question or make a comment that encourages another person to elaborate on something they have already said

8 Indicators of Participation Bring in a resource (a reading, web link, video) not covered in the syllabus but adds new information/perspectives to our learning Post a comment on the course chat room that summarizes our conversations so far and/or suggests new directions and questions to be explored in the future Make a comment (online if this is appropriate) indicating that you found another person's ideas interesting or useful. Be specific as to why this was the case Bring in a resource (a reading, web link, video) not covered in the syllabus but adds new information/perspectives to our learning Post a comment on the course chat room that summarizes our conversations so far and/or suggests new directions and questions to be explored in the future Make a comment (online if this is appropriate) indicating that you found another person's ideas interesting or useful. Be specific as to why this was the case

9 Indicators of Participation Contribute something that builds on, or springs from, what someone else has said. Be explicit about the way you are doing this. Make a summary observation that takes into account several people's contributions & that touches on a recurring theme in the discussion (online if you like) Ask a cause and effect question - for example, "can you explain why you think it's true that if these things are in place such and such a thing will occur?” Contribute something that builds on, or springs from, what someone else has said. Be explicit about the way you are doing this. Make a summary observation that takes into account several people's contributions & that touches on a recurring theme in the discussion (online if you like) Ask a cause and effect question - for example, "can you explain why you think it's true that if these things are in place such and such a thing will occur?”

10 Indicators of Participation Find a way to express appreciation for the enlightenment you have gained from the discussion. Try to be specific about what helped you understand something better. Post a question or comment on the live Today’s Meet feed that takes us in a new direction Alert us to someone who is trying to ask a question but is being overlooked If you talk a lot try the 3 Person Rule Find a way to express appreciation for the enlightenment you have gained from the discussion. Try to be specific about what helped you understand something better. Post a question or comment on the live Today’s Meet feed that takes us in a new direction Alert us to someone who is trying to ask a question but is being overlooked If you talk a lot try the 3 Person Rule

11 Rewarding Students for Participation – How to Get the 20% Ask students after each class to post how they enacted one of the behaviors in the rubric Provide a one page sheet listing the behaviors & ask students to check those they enacted, with specific descriptions of at least one As part of mid-terms & finals ask students to provide a half page summary of the different ways they participated in class Ask students after each class to post how they enacted one of the behaviors in the rubric Provide a one page sheet listing the behaviors & ask students to check those they enacted, with specific descriptions of at least one As part of mid-terms & finals ask students to provide a half page summary of the different ways they participated in class

12 A Silent & Visual Protocol for Participation – Chalk Talk Write a question in the center of the board & ask everyone to move up to the board Ask for 5 minutes silence as students write responses to question on the board Others draw lines between postings to show connections/differences, ask questions, add to postings, provide examples etc. You add responses & draw lines as needed After 5 minutes is up the group then talks about clusters of responses, outliers, what’s missing, important questions & what’s next Write a question in the center of the board & ask everyone to move up to the board Ask for 5 minutes silence as students write responses to question on the board Others draw lines between postings to show connections/differences, ask questions, add to postings, provide examples etc. You add responses & draw lines as needed After 5 minutes is up the group then talks about clusters of responses, outliers, what’s missing, important questions & what’s next

13 Examples of Chalk Talks What is a Proof? How do we decide a hypothesis is correct? Why is Theory ‘A’ accurate? What does autism look, feel, sound like? What are exs, illustrations of Concept B? What’s the most important thing to know about this theory, policy, concept? What is a Proof? How do we decide a hypothesis is correct? Why is Theory ‘A’ accurate? What does autism look, feel, sound like? What are exs, illustrations of Concept B? What’s the most important thing to know about this theory, policy, concept?

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16 Circle of Voices Students silently think about a question assigned to them by the teacher & make notes on their response Participants go round the circle in order - each person has up to 1 minute of uninterrupted air time to give their viewpoint on the topic. No interruptions are allowed. Students then move into free exchanges with the ground rule that every comment offered must somehow refer back to a comment made by someone else in the opening circle of voices. This need NOT be agreement - it can be a disagreement, a question, an elaboration, an illustration, & so on Students silently think about a question assigned to them by the teacher & make notes on their response Participants go round the circle in order - each person has up to 1 minute of uninterrupted air time to give their viewpoint on the topic. No interruptions are allowed. Students then move into free exchanges with the ground rule that every comment offered must somehow refer back to a comment made by someone else in the opening circle of voices. This need NOT be agreement - it can be a disagreement, a question, an elaboration, an illustration, & so on

17 What Students Appreciate It begins with silent time to think named as part of the exercise – those who need time to process appreciate this The structure decreases anxiety for students who wonder what ‘participation’ looks like Everyone is heard in the first round It forces students to listen to others It makes it easier to participate in the future – if participation is important to you then you must engineer it very early on It begins with silent time to think named as part of the exercise – those who need time to process appreciate this The structure decreases anxiety for students who wonder what ‘participation’ looks like Everyone is heard in the first round It forces students to listen to others It makes it easier to participate in the future – if participation is important to you then you must engineer it very early on

18 Incorporating Social Media Social media ‘backchannels’ are a useful way to get students to ask questions, provide examples, respond to questions & offer reactions to the class They by-pass the dynamics of verbal participation – giving everyone an equal chance to speak They can provide anonymity – meaning nobody runs the risk of looking stupid They allow students to ask questions as they occur to them – not when the professor invites Social media ‘backchannels’ are a useful way to get students to ask questions, provide examples, respond to questions & offer reactions to the class They by-pass the dynamics of verbal participation – giving everyone an equal chance to speak They can provide anonymity – meaning nobody runs the risk of looking stupid They allow students to ask questions as they occur to them – not when the professor invites

19 What Students Appreciate It’s private & anonymous It feels familiar It democratizes the classroom – no one can dominate the class as in verbal interaction It allows us to raise questions, seek clarification & pose problems in our own time & at our own pace It by passes the performance anxiety of speaking in class – yet allows us to contribute & be heard in a non-pressured way It’s private & anonymous It feels familiar It democratizes the classroom – no one can dominate the class as in verbal interaction It allows us to raise questions, seek clarification & pose problems in our own time & at our own pace It by passes the performance anxiety of speaking in class – yet allows us to contribute & be heard in a non-pressured way

20 Monitoring Participation Participation should not be experienced by students as “participation for participation’s sake”. You need constantly to monitor that it’s being understood in the way you wish it to be, & that it’s supporting students’ learning, not getting in the way One way to monitor this is through the Classroom Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) available for free download on my home page: Participation should not be experienced by students as “participation for participation’s sake”. You need constantly to monitor that it’s being understood in the way you wish it to be, & that it’s supporting students’ learning, not getting in the way One way to monitor this is through the Classroom Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) available for free download on my home page:

21 CIQ Questions The moment in class this week when you were most engaged as a learner The moment you were most distanced as a learner The most helpful action anyone in the room took The most puzzling action anyone in the room took What surprised you most about the class this week The moment in class this week when you were most engaged as a learner The moment you were most distanced as a learner The most helpful action anyone in the room took The most puzzling action anyone in the room took What surprised you most about the class this week

22 CIQ Takes 5 minutes to complete at the end of the last class of the week Anonymous Instructor reads through responses & prepares a short summary to be given at the first class of the following week (or online) Instructor responds to problems, explains confusions, shows how she will adapt her teaching to feedback – or why she cannot in good conscience do this Takes 5 minutes to complete at the end of the last class of the week Anonymous Instructor reads through responses & prepares a short summary to be given at the first class of the following week (or online) Instructor responds to problems, explains confusions, shows how she will adapt her teaching to feedback – or why she cannot in good conscience do this

23 What Students Appreciate It’s anonymous – we can express misgivings or ask awkward questions without fear of instructor punishment It’s inclusive – everyone has an equal chance to participate & no-one’s concerns can dominate It shows the teacher is interested in our well being & how we’re doing When the teacher takes it seriously it builds our trust & confidence in her It’s anonymous – we can express misgivings or ask awkward questions without fear of instructor punishment It’s inclusive – everyone has an equal chance to participate & no-one’s concerns can dominate It shows the teacher is interested in our well being & how we’re doing When the teacher takes it seriously it builds our trust & confidence in her

24 Further Resources The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust & Responsiveness in the Classroom (2015, 3rd ed.) The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking (2016) - with Stephen Preskill The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust & Responsiveness in the Classroom (2015, 3rd ed.) The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking (2016) - with Stephen Preskill


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