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A Word About Participation and Resistance

Answer: 
  • Be explicit about your expectations for participation
  • Incentivize participation
  • Syllabus Language: Participation in Class Discussion (example language)
  • Class participation is a very important part of the learning process in this course. Although not explicitly graded, you will be evaluated on the QUALITY of your contributions and insights. Quality comments possess one or more of the following properties
    • Offer a different and unique, but relevant perspective.
    • Contribute to moving the discussion and analysis forward.
    • Transcend the “I feel” syndrome.  That is, it includes some evidence, argumentation, or recognition of inherent tradeoffs.  In other words, the comment demonstrates some reflective thinking.
  • Strategies to mitigate Resistance to Active Learning (Tharayil et al., 2018)

  • Explanation strategies

    • Explain the purpose & value of assignments

    • Provide clear directions and expectations

  • Facilitation strategies

    • Assume an encouraging demeanor

    • Approach non-participants privately

    • Grade on participation

    • Monitor breakout rooms

    • Invite questions

    • Develop a routine

    • Design activities for participation

    • Use incremental steps

  • References