ERIC Number: ED415815
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov-7
Reference Count: N/A
Engaging Classrooms: Student Participation and the Instructional Factors That Shape It. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Reynolds, Katherine C.; Nunn, Claudia E.
This study investigated the extent of student interaction in undergraduate classrooms and the relationship between instructor techniques and interaction, as well as differences in interactions experienced by freshmen compared to those of juniors and seniors (upperclassmen). Survey questionnaires were completed by 36 instructors, 226 freshmen, and 566 upperclassmen enrolled in social science and humanities courses at 2 public research universities. Analysis of the questionnaires indicated that freshmen viewed classroom participation more favorably than did upperclassmen; they felt somewhat freer to ask questions in class and believed, to a greater extent than upperclassmen, that their teachers tolerated different opinions. Both freshmen and upperclassmen named praise, humor, and a supportive classroom atmosphere as the conditions most encouraging to their participation, while criticisms and "put downs" for wrong answers were most discouraging. Faculty cited the use of student ideas in class and asking for elaboration on questions/answers as significantly more encouraging of participation than did students. Faculty also viewed the use of student names as significantly more encouraging of participation than did freshmen. Compared to their male counterparts, female freshmen and upperclassmen reported significantly greater encouragement for participation from praise and supportive classroom atmospheres. Two figures and six data tables are appended. (Contains 36 references.) (SW)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, College Faculty, College Freshmen, College Juniors, College Seniors, Group Dynamics, Group Structure, Higher Education, Interaction Process Analysis, Interpersonal Relationship, Public Colleges, Student Attitudes, Student Participation, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Undergraduate Study, Universities
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A