Learning research suggests that students are more motivated, learn better, become better critical thinkers, and have self-reported gains in character when answering questions, contributing to class discussions, or presenting to the class (see Rocca, 2010 for a review). However, Howard and Henry (1998) reported that 90% of course activities that involve classroom communication are made by only a handful of students. One reason for this is what researchers have termed communication apprehension (McCroskey, 1977), also referred to as participation anxiety (Karim & Shah, 2012). Many sources offer tips to help students manage their own anxiety (e.g., Young, 1990), however, few sources actually address tools instructors can use to create an environment that reduces the fear of participating. In this session, participants explore the underlying causes of communication apprehension/participation anxiety and strategies that can be implemented to create a low-anxiety classroom environment. The primary goal is to encourage participants to increase participation in their classrooms by changing the classroom from an atmosphere of insecurity and anxiety to one that enhances the natural communication strengths of students.
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"Silence is Not Golden: Reducing Communication Apprehension in the University Classroom,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol4/iss2/3