Despite the increased application of technology in the classrooms, students’ active participation and classroom engagements are still at the low level as noticed by professors. Students are becoming passive audience in the classroom discussions and participation is growing colder and quieter daily in the academic arenas. Classrooms teaching has turned into one way communication and students continually accepting the idea of keeping to oneself in the classroom. The importance of students’ participation in our colleges classrooms cannot be underemphasized, as a result, every professor included in his/her grading policy a certain percentage for student participation. As much as students understood the significant of classroom participation on final semester grade, many still refused to be unshelled.
Professors have implemented several motivating strategies to improve student classroom engagement such as punishment, rewards, hands-on, research etc. However, studies have shown that motivating through punishment is the least effective method to motivate an individual. Therefore, this study outlined ways in which a technique called “clustering from grouping” had improved students’ classroom engagement. This technique was implemented in three different classes and in two semesters. Participants included, graduate and undergraduate students with ages ranged from 19 to 46 years old. The first undergraduate class enrolled 16 students, the second class enrolled 20 students and the graduate class enrolled 24 students. Twenty-two students completed the survey that assessed the techniques effectiveness on three forms of student classroom engagement. Findings on the students’ cognitive, behavioral and affirmative engagement revealed that 95%, 97% and 85% of the students respectively were actively engaged in the classroom activities. Only one student affirmed that learning through the technique was boring. Fifty-five percent of the students affirmed that the technique encouraged them to use the professors office hours more often than they would have for another professors classes. Of the 18-students who responded to the open-ended question, 94% affirmed that the technique was the best they had ever experienced to actively engaged students in the classroom activities. Findings further revealed 15% improvement in students participation in the classroom where the technique was implemented compared to another classes taught by the professor. The professor experienced a 10% increase in undergraduate students and 5% increase in graduate students who utilized his office hours. Professor affirmed that an appreciative email was also received from a parent who acknowledged the effectiveness of the technique on his son’s skill to communicate and to engage in an effective discussion. This paper assessed, compared and documented the impacts of clustering from grouping teaching technique on students’ classroom engagement.
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