The students felt that a few could carry the discussion for the rest of the class . . .

. . . while the majority of students adhered to a ‘norm of silence’ – not perceiving themselves as obligated to participate in the conversation (50).  Jay R. Howard, a sociologist, calls this the norm of “the consolidation of responsibility,” which tends to be the default setting in the college or university classroom, unless the instructor creates new norms. Awareness is the first step in changing the patterns,  which can lead to course design decisions that include activities that require student-to-student interaction and student-to-instructor interaction. Because this book provides specific, research-based suggestions, it’s on my list of “Ten Best Books for College Teachers.”

Howard, Jay R. Dicussion in the College Classroom: Getting Your Students Engaged and Participating in Person and Online. Jossey-Bass, 2015, p. 50.

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