So, how has student participation been for you this semester?

If you are like most teachers, the chances are, you had a relatively small number of dominating active students who responded to most of your questions while others, erm, ….learnt ‘vicariously’.  

You also probably had some students keen to talk after the class, but not in class.

Is that normal? Yes.

Research suggests that, unless special efforts are made, most students will not participate in the classroom discussions.

Is that a problem? It is.

Research also reports that participating in the classroom helps deeper learning and better retention, so we do need to aspire to get more students participating. Vicarious learning is not enough.

How do I improve student participation?

It helps to keep at the forefront research findings on the students who are at a higher risk of refraining from participation AND making appropriate tweaks to our classroom.

Click on the activity below for some key research findings on student participation AND, most importantly, some practical ideas on how you can promote student participation.

No time to do the activity?

Not to worry! Download the Student Participation Quick guide below.

Please share this post with others and give us feedback.

If you’d like this activity or guide to be revised or have any additional points to include, drop me a line at

Image: @wayhomestudio /Freepik

Posted by Olga Kozar

I'm a 'long-term' Mq girl. I did my PhD here and taught on different courses, ranging from 1st year to PhD students. I now work in Learning and Teaching, which I love. I have 2 young kids and a dog, and I love meeting other Mq people, so give me a shout if you'd like to talk 'learning and teaching' or would like to brainstorm together.

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