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Building Equitable Classroom Participation

An arcade at Stanford.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Curious about how to ensure all students feel the classroom is an empowering space? Interested in developing strategies to encourage all students to participate? In this session, we will discuss practical, evidence-based strategies for reimagining participation in higher education classrooms that move beyond the typical approach of Initiate-Respond-Evaluate, the teacher-led question and answer approaches so often used in classrooms where students raise their hands and answer. We will explore readings from Dr. Kimberley Tanner, along with the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines, to guide our inquiry of participation practices. As a community, we will generate and practice applying alternative ways to structure learning activities to scaffold participation such that all students feel empowered to engage.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe why the common participation model of asking a question and then waiting for a student to raise their hand and answer does not ensure equity in the classroom
  • Generate alternative ways to scaffold participation based on the readings by Dr. Kimberly Tanner and the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines
  • Apply these more equitable participation strategies to redesigning a learning activity


Universal Design for Learning Guidelines:

This workshop is presented as part of the MinT Program at the Center for Teaching and Learning. For more information about the program and upcoming events, visit



Time Commitment: