ERIC Number: ED405033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Engaging Students in Large Lecture Classes.
Martino, Gail; Sala, Fabio
In an effort to encourage student participation and instructor-student communication in a large introductory psychology course, an approach was developed to call on students involuntarily to answer critical thinking questions rather than factual questions. To address the possibility that students would be anxious and intimidated about speaking in a large class, the interaction was made more personal by addressing students by their first name, students were given adequate time to formulate answers, and students were allowed to refuse to answer questions. At the end of the semester, an evaluation questionnaire containing both closed- and open-ended questions was distributed to students, with 124 filling out questionnaires. Among the respondents, 90 included comments about their thoughts on students being called at random in a large lecture class and 60 indicated that they had participated involuntarily. Results of the closed-ended survey questions suggested that students preferred critical thinking questions to fact-based questions and that involuntary participation increased attentiveness and course preparation. However, findings also suggested that involuntary participation did not lead to subsequent voluntary participation. In sum, students' evaluations of the method were generally positive, while evidence was also found that the method supported course learning goals. Includes tables of survey results. Contains 12 references. (TGI)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology (10th, Ellenville, NY, March 20-22, 1996); see JC 970 128.