Carolyne James


Existing literature shows that although students agree that active participation in the classroom is important and many want to engage only one third regularly do so and 90% of all participations are made by a handful of students (Crombie et al., 2003; Frischner, 2000). The aim of this research was to explore from the student’s perspective what they considered were the key barriers to actively participating in the classroom and to establish whether early intervention can have an impact on their participation.  Early findings revealed that a significant number of students have benefited from the intervention, however, the majority still experience difficulties participating in lectures. Responses indicated that for some student’s active participation is potentially negative especially for non-traditional and minority students. Traditional informal approaches to encouraging student participation through socialisation have been unsystematic and haphazard and their inadequacies and shortfalls have been highlighted by increasingly larger student groups and widening participation.