Becoming a Great Classroom Participant

Active participation in class is central to your success as a student. By being a great classroom participant, you potentially increase your learning retention and your grade performance. Active engagement is a component of hands-on learning, which combines with auditory and visual learning to offer you a broader and deeper classroom experience.

Show Up Ready

The most basic tip for classroom participation is to be present, literally and figuratively. Regularly attending class helps you to get comfortable with the environment, your peers and the instructor. Getting a good night’s rest, eating breakfast and coming with your books and materials also puts you in the best shape to participate and learn. Though you may feel more comfortable in the middle or back of the class, sitting at front is also a great way to push yourself toward active participation. When you are in front, it is much more difficult to drift away mentally and physically. You can hear better and the instructor can more easily make eye contact with you to keep you involved.

Be Prepared

Active in-class participation typically results from effective preparation ahead of time. This includes reading the required textbook materials, taking notes and jotting down any questions that you want to ask during class. By getting comfortable with the basic material prior to class, you can more actively listen to examples and participate in hands-on activities and case studies during class. Asking questions helps you gain additional insights and shows the instructor that you were prepared.

Interaction and Sharing

Instructors typically want you to share your input and ideas because it helps others learn and it keeps you stimulated. A good participant shares ideas consistently, but also has a listening attitude when classmates share to learn from their examples and experiences. Coming prepared with questions also helps you get more direct perspective on challenging topics or areas of curiosity. You can also interact directly with instructors through face-to-face visits during office hours or by e-mailing with questions.

Team Activities

Team activities, case studies and group projects typically lead to higher levels or learning and retention. Students who have a collaborative attitude gain insights from the experience and ideas offered by team members. Active participants also benefit by sharing their own experience and ideas with the group. While your role may vary in different classes and on different project, it is important to participate fully and actively. Good team participants identify opportunities to pitch-in on tasks and seek ways to help the group perform at its best.

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