Student Participation in the Mixed Age College Classroom
Previous research regarding students' verbal participation in the college classroom has focused largely on gender and class size. Using a triangulation of methods (observation, survey, and interview), this study, conducted at an extension campus of a large state university, examines the impact of students' age on classroom discussion. Age, gender, attendance, week in the semester, and time of day are found to be significant determinants of verbal participation. The results indicate a "consolidation of responsibility" for participation. Students' reasons for their lack of participation are examined, as are their attitudes toward "talkative" students. Suggestions are offered for increasing participation.
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Jay R. Howard, Lillard B. Short, and Susan M. Clark. "Student Participation in the Mixed Age College Classroom" Teaching Sociology 24.1 (1996): 8-24.