Why Won't They Talk? Using Discussion to Facilitate Learning

Jay Howard


Faculty often wish to engage students in class discussion, but sometimes our efforts fall flat and we give up the effort. Why should we seek to engage students? What classroom norms sometimes undermine students’ participation? Which students are most likely to participate and to choose not to participate? How can an instructor manage both the dominant talkers and the quieter students? We will engage each of these questions utilizing a review of the research to identify ways to structure class discussion to engage students and maximize learning.