Annotated Bibliography

In your experience at this college during the current school year, about how often have you done each of the following?
  a(2). Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions

(contributed to class discussions)

Henning, J.E. (2005). Leading discussions: Opening up the conversation. College Teaching, 53(3), 90-94.

Leading a productive discussion, one that engages students and enhances their understanding, may be the most complex and challenging task in teaching. This article explores three approaches to increasing the productivity of discussions. These approaches include framing discussions in ways that allow students easier access to the topic, making the kind of discourse moves that propel discussions forward, and creating an atmosphere that is conducive to discussion. Examples are provided and discussed.



Weaver, R.R., & Qi, J. (2005). Classroom organization and participation: College students' perceptions. The Journal of Higher Education (Columbus, Ohio), 76(5), 570-601.

This analysis indicates that faculty can foster participation and learning in many ways. A path model to help sort through the myriad factors that influence self-reported participation and situate those factors within a framework that understands the classroom as a social organization with formal and informal structures is suggested.



Rice-Snow, S., & Fluegeman, R.H. (2004). Maintaining a small-group discussion focus while bringing international issues into the large classroom. Journal of Geoscience Education, 52(3), 260-265.

The writers discuss the strategies adopted in a mid-level undergraduate oceanography course at Ball State University, Indiana, for integrating extended small-group discussion into the large class setting. These strategies, which could be applied to large classes on other topics, include clear guidelines for student preparation, explicit attention to behaviors that foster profitable group discussion, and clear honoring of discussion outcomes in grading.



Tsui, L. (2002). Fostering critical thinking through effective pedagogy: Evidence from four institutional case studies. The Journal of Higher Education, 73 (6), 740-763.

An analysis of interview and classroom observation data collected through four institutional case studies reveals some consistent findings regarding how writing assignments and class discussions can be made conducive to critical thinking development.



Lake, D.A. (2001). Student performance and perceptions of a lecture-based course compared with the same course utilizing group discussion. Physical Therapy, 81(3), 896-903.

This article presents a study that compared the student learning and student perceptions of course and instructor effectiveness, course difficulty and amount learned between active learning and lecture sections of a course. Research methodology; results and discussion; conclusions are included.



Braxton, J.M., Milem, J.F., & Sullivan, A.S. (2000). The influence of active learning on the college student departure process: Student integration and persistence. The Journal of Higher Education, 71 (5), 569-590.

This study seeks to elaborate Tinto's Theory of College Student Departure by testing influence of faculty active learning practices on student departure decisions. Path analysis results indicate that active learning exerts statistically reliable influences on social integration, subsequent institutional commitment, and intent to return.



Fritschner, L.M. (2000). Inside the undergraduate college classroom: Faculty and students differ on the meaning of student participation. The Journal of Higher Education, 71 (3), 342-362.

An investigation of student participation in liberal arts and sciences courses at a public university revealed that the amount of participation increased from introductory to upper-division classes, that traditional-age students lagged behind nontraditional students in participation, and that upper-level students participated differently than lower-level students. Student and faculty interviews revealed that each group had different definitions and expectations of student participation.



Howard, J.R., & Baird, R. (2000). The consolidation of responsibility and students' definitions of situation in the mixed-age college classroom. The Journal of Higher Education, 71 (6), 700-721.

This study tests for the norm of the consolidation of responsibility for participation in discussion in the mixed-age college classroom. Students who accept and reject this responsibility are identified through observation. The definitions of the college classroom employed by each group of students are contrasted through interviews and survey.



Finkel, D. (1999). Enhancing student involvement and comprehension through group and class discussions. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, 10(3), 33-49.

The goals of this study were to incorporate group and class discussions in two psychology courses to promote critical thinking and interaction among students. Throughout the courses, students engaged in discussions of an issue and wrote position papers presenting their own conclusions. Quantitative and qualitative data from student evaluations suggest that the discussions improved interaction among students, engaged them in the issues, and promoted critical thinking. The author replicated the benefits of incorporating discussions into a different course to verify the reliability of the benefits.



Karides, M. & Misra, J. (1999). The Mass Class and Teaching Assistants: A Case for Discussion Exercises. American Sociologist, 30(4), 72-90.

This article discusses some of the structural limitations confronting teaching assistants and professors of mass classrooms.



Kuh, G.D., & Vesper, N. (1997). A comparison of student experiences with good practices in undergraduate education between 1990 and 1994. The Review of Higher Education, 21 (1), 43-61.

Good practices in undergraduate education consist of faculty and student behaviors associated with desired outcomes from attending college. This study compares the experiences of two groups of lower-division undergraduates with good practices at baccalaureate institutions and doctoral-granting universities between 1990 and 1994. During this period, the frequency of student-faculty interaction increased at baccalaureate institutions. However, at doctoral-granting universities faculty-student interaction and active learning decreased.



Moseley, M. [review] (1996). Using active learning in college classes: A range of options for faculty. In Bonwell, C. C., & Sutherland, T. E. (Eds). New Directions for Teaching and Learning #67. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

At the other end of the spectrum of active learning ideas in this book is an essay on "the enhanced lecture." This is for teachers who are committed to the idea of lecturing but for some reason--perhaps student dissatisfaction, or because they recognize what research has amply proven, that students cannot and do not stay attentive for 50 consecutive minutes--want to incorporate some active learning principles in their teaching. The author, Charles C. Bonwell, begins with a fair summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional lecture, then provides suggestion of active learning devices which can enhance it: the pause procedure; short writes; think-pair-share; formative quizzes (an interesting way of looking at ungraded but quiz-like exercises); lecture summaries; and other classroom assessment techniques such as those recommended by Angelo and Cross's crucial 1993 volume. Bonwell attractively couples these suggestions with a frank account of his own disastrous results when first attempting to use them.



Terenzini, P.T., Springer, L., Pascarella, E.T., & Nora, A. (1995). Academic and out-of-class influences on students' intellectual orientations. The Review of Higher Education, 19(1), 23-44.

This study estimates the extent to which students' learning orientations are shaped independently and jointly by their academic and nonacademic experiences. Findings indicate not only that students' academic and out-of-class experiences make statistically significant and unique contributions to gains in intellectual orientation after controlling for pre-college characteristics, but also that the two domains exert a modest joint effect.



Higgins, G. C. (1994). Some questions to ask before leading a class discussion. Religious Education, 89(1). 68-79.

This article maintains that the quality of most theology courses is measured by the quality of class discussion. It identifies and discusses philosophical, theological, and educational assumptions that have a bearing on class discussion.and presents strategies to help reinvigorate a stalled discussion.



King, K. M. (1994). Leading classroom discussions: Using computers for a new approach. Teaching Sociology, 22, 174-182.

It has long been known that students learn more rapidly and retain knowledge longer when they take an active role in the learning process. Classroom discussion encourages students to take such a role, but is not without problems. This paper highlights some common pitfalls of classroom discussion and proposes a way to use mainframe computers to overcome some of these difficulties.



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