Increasing Low-Responding Students' Participation in Class Discussion

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Students in six sections of a large undergraduate class were asked to record their class comments on notecards in all course units. Additionally, in some units, they received points toward their course grade based on their reported comments in class discussion. The study was conducted over a two-semester period, with slight variation in both the recording and crediting procedures across the two semesters. The primary goal of the study was to determine the effects of two credit and self-recording arrangements on initially low-responding students' subsequent participation in class discussion (first semester n = 49, second semester n = 45). A higher percentage of low-responding students reported participating in class discussion when credit was given for participation than when no credit was awarded. Nonetheless, 39% of the initially low-responding students the first semester and 38% of the initially low-responding students the second semester did not participate in class discussion in any phase of the study.

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