Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
Christopher Michele
University of New England
April 22, 2015

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Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
Abstract
After a month of collecting data for this research project on improving participating
during lessons was remarkable. The students were able to give self-assessments to help the
teacher understand their needs for improving participation during class. Individual conferences
were conducted to students who were not improving with their participation levels throughout
the data collecting process. Discussing with other faculty members during team meetings about
the research projects was very educational and helpful as well. Data was collected, noted, and
after comparing the participation levels at the beginning of the research to the end the numbers
clear show they have increased.

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Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

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Table of Contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..4
Description of Class……………………………………………………………………………….4
Problem Statement………………………………………………………………………………...5
Research Questions………………………………………………………………………………..5
Hypothesis…………………………………………………………………………………………6
Literature Review………………………………………………………………………………….6
Methodology……..………………………………………………………………………………13
Research Design………………………………………………………………………………….15
Data Collection Plan……………………………………………………………………………..16
Data Analyze……………………………………………………………………………………..17
Sample Selection…………………………………………………………………………………18
Results……………………………………………………………………………………………18
Findings………………………………………………………………………………………….19
Discussion………………………………………………………………………………………..23
Limitations……………………………………………………………………………………….24
Summary and Further Research………………………………………………………………….24
Action Plan……………………………………………………………………………………….25
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………….26
References……………………………………………………………………………………….27
Appendices……………………………………………………………………………………….29

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Introduction
This will be the 5Th year as a teacher and continuing to teach at School #5 in the town of
Belleville, New Jersey. Being a Health and Physical Education teacher at one of our seven
public elementary schools in our district something to be proud of. Living a whole life in the
same town and being to now work for the districts is rewarding. Belleville is a residential town
that lies as neighbors of Bloomfield, Nutley, and Newark, and is about 12 miles west of New
York City and is located in Essex County. The public school system in Belleville has a
population of approximately 4,900 students that attend the seven elementary schools, one middle
school, and one high school all located in the town. Belleville is diverse town made up of
Caucasian, Spanish, African-American, Asian, and a handful of other races. The makeup of the
town varies from little middle and more lower class families.
Description of Class
In School # 5 health is taught every week. There are so many classes so one week is
A week and the other is B. The district follows states curriculum involving the units to have a
“blended set of standards and cumulative progress indicators that fully encapsulate the major
ideas and themes behind the unit”, (NJDOE, 2014). The main units being taught involve
physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, relationships, interpersonal communication and
character development. The one 5th grade class taught is 23 regular education students and the
other 5th grade class is about 23 students as well but combined with the 4 students from the
behavioral class.

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Problem Statement
Classroom participation is necessary for student success in the 21st century classroom and
it can impact a student’s performance and learning. Although many of today's students
participate, it does not mean they all participate on the same level. Depending on their comfort
level of participation often determines on how they are actually involved in the learning process.
Researching the different ways that to figure out where the student are in terms of how they
participate in the classroom. This action research will focus on the classroom participation in a
5th grade health class in School #5, Belleville, New Jersey. This is an important area for teacher
and they depend a lot on student participation in order to make sure the students getting the
information being covered in an everyday classroom. It is also important because at the
elementary school level getting the students to a level of participation that will help benefit them
in the long run. Taking the time to conduct this research will help in ways so that educators can
determine the level of class participation students have and have the opportunity to determine
what it is in fact at that particular level. As 21st century educators, it is a necessity to be
involved knowing how eventually participation impacts their learning and how the two are
linked. Classroom participation can benefit all students and will allow them the best opportunity
for them become more successful in all of their educational experiences.
Research Questions
Will grading students on their involvement as well as their assessment be as significant as
assessing class participation as an equal?
Can finding a way to incorporate areas like grading cooperative learning on classroom
participation for my students especially to students who have behavioral classifications?

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Does finding reasons why students feel they do not need to participate as much have an impact
of embarrassment for public humility?
Will hearing student’s feedback create ways to have students be more responsive during lessons?
Does gender matter make a difference in class participation?
Hypothesis
By collecting information from the students as well as their feedback this can allow the
students and teacher to be motivated more and participate during my lessons. Conducting
surveys with pre and post assessments for my lessons is very important for this research.
Reaching out to other teachers in my department and collecting data will make this project a
success. One suggestion to collect data proving participation was exceeded is the teacher can
give tally marks students each time they participate. Conferences can be altered before or after
class to help encourage them to participate more.
Literature Review
In order to investigate my wondering I researched three different articles that were related
to classroom participation and discussion. These articles varied from peer-reviewed journals to
editor-published references. All three articles were published less than five years and they
provided me with tremendous amounts of advice and recommendations in order to help me with
my own questions and wonderings.
“Best Practices in Teaching and Learning Increasing Active Participation Lectures Using
Student Response Systems”
This article identifies the importance of students and their responses as well as their
attention span during class lectures. It is commonly reported that students’ attention
span in lectures varies between 10 and 15 minutes and students themselves

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report that the longest time they can comfortably endure uninterrupted
lecture is 20–30 minutes (Rabinowitz, E., Robert McKethan .R., Kernodle, M., 2013).
Student Response Systems (SRS) is an approach to find a way to have students interact more
during lectures. The article explains how you can have interactive engagement between
instructors and students during lessons. The address two figures where Figure 1 is a traditional
system using controllers for the teacher and signaling devices used by the students. Figure 2 is a
base station software allowing the students responses to be projected over applications like
PowerPoint showing students. The benefits of SRS are that it saves time for teachers such as
taking attendance. Also because there is access to grades and studies show students attendance
increased. Rabinowitz states, “In addition, most of the SRS have device
grading/scoring capabilities for quizzes that provide not only individual
responses/scores, but whole class responses and a few systems even allow
students to move at their own pace, such as on a printed test, to record their
responses (2013). SRS creates encouragement for a student and class
participation increases as well as improved test scores. Another reason why
SRS is great for teachers are because can incorporate “warm up” with class
discussions or peer instruction. Games like Jeopardy can be fun and
innovative ways to conduct reviews. Lastly the article identifies that SRS is
great for research data collection. Using SRS seems to be a very productive
way to involve participation into the everyday classroom.
“Student Involvement in Assessment: Assess Class Participation Fairly and Reliably”
This article was researched in a graduate level classroom. It includes lots of information
that pertains to classroom discussion across all grade levels. It focused on the importance of

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
assessing classroom participation and how it encourages students to develop their oral
communication skills in order to further learning. The article also opens the door to many other
variables on classroom participation. Dancer & Kamvounias (2005) discussed the difference
between males and females and how they respond to positive and negative feedback on their
participation and it discussed the difference of class sizes. They also went onto discuss the
factors that classes that have a large amount of students and the obstacles a teacher could
encounter when trying to help students participate more. Dancer & Kamvounias (2005)
mentions that class participating is a common requirement in many classes and teachers need to
make sure they teacher a skill before they assess the students on a particular skill like class
participation.
Classroom Participation and Student-Faculty Interactions: Does Gender Matter?
This article was very in depth and concentrated on if gender matters relating to class
participation. They did a study from a single-sex college for women to a coeducational
institution. They examined areas like classroom environment during the first three years of
coeducation. Another area of examination was the influence of a student and professor gender
on classroom behaviors that may or may not initate and maintain student participation. Students
in classes with a high degree of participation are less concerned about their ability to perform
well in the class, about their peers’ opinions, and about their overall intellectual ability (Tatum,
H. E., Schwartz, B. M., Schimmoeller, P. A., & Perry, N, (2013). This article found differences
across areas of that focus on classroom climate and interaction patterns relate to gender
difference and participation. The information in this article was conclusive and supportive to
findings productive ways to enhance participation for students in their classrooms.

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“Broadening Participation That Classroom ‘Magic’ Effective teaching
practices for broadening participation in computer science.”
This article concentrates on the effectiveness what computer science and how it enhances
class participation. It identifies and points out what the true magic of computer science is and
how it affects students. “While an engaging classroom may feel “magical,” it really is not.
Rather, itis the result of purposeful instructional practices and a curriculum intentionally
designed for broadening participation in computing,” (Chapman, G., Goode, J., Margolis, J.,
Ryoo, J. 2014). They research was conducted by a 219 weekly observations in nine ECS
classrooms. Three areas were identified: Computer Science Disciplinary Practices, Inquiry
Practices, and Equity Practices. This research found different variations in implementation of
these practices in the classrooms. It has observed how changing from a direct instruction
teaching philosophy to an inquiry or equity format does take time. These opportunities and
contributions must not be reserved for only a narrow band of students with “preparatory
privilege” that includes family resources, parental knowledge, and learning venues (Chapman,
G., Goode, J., Margolis, J., Ryoo, J. 2014). After reading this article it has proven that technology
is a key factor for creating more participation in the classroom.
“The Effects of Cooperative Learning on the Classroom Participation of Students
Placed at Risk for Societal Failure”.
This article focused on how cooperative-learning techniques increased the student’s
participation, it concentrated on two male high school students. Drakeford (2012) noted that, as
students get older and become more involved in other competing commitments such as friends,
sports, and their families, they become less engaged in school. This article reinforces the need
that it is imperative that teachers need to focus on the importance of increasing the amount of
class participation. The article explained that instead of gearing students to feel as if the learning

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process is a forced activity, we can find other ways to keep them interested, involved and
ultimately the goal, participating. The study concluded that students that become more involved
in the learning process as a result of increased motivation are more likely to express their ideas
and understand the content more thoroughly, Drakeford (2012).

“‘Always Allowing the Voice’: Expectations of Student Participation and the Disciplining of
Teachers’ Practice”
Finding ways for students to participate is one of teacher’s toughest goals to achieve. “Student
participation in higher education classrooms is considered important for learning and
achievement, but what is meant by participation is rarely made clear (Mariskind, C. 2013).” This
was an article from a university teaching staff in New Zealand. This teacher spoke about
experience of teaching in a diverse environment. Data and analysis investigated what
participation means for teachers and what they do to enact it in their classroom. Norms and
assumptions were underlined and their narratives considered how these norms can discipline
teacher’s practices.
“Minority Students, Academic Discourse, Cultural Conflicts, and Issues of Representing in
Whole Class Discussion”
This article stated that sometimes minority students choose not to participate in an effort
to maintain their sense of personal and cultural identity or because they could possibly not
completely understand the different topics that are being discussed. The study followed four
minority college students for an entire semester. This article provides lots of information that
reinforces the importance of classroom participation. All four of the students were on academic
probation because of poor grades and they were facing possible suspension. All four students
participated in a pre- and post-study interview and during the semester they met with the

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researcher weekly. Although the students were aware that they were involved in the study and
understood the importance of participating in their classes, they all demonstrated unwillingness
to try to speak up more in their classes. In conclusion of the article, White (2011) states that
teachers must understand the cultural implications of their demands when creating classroom
rules expressing their expectations for class participation.
“Design Expert’s Participation in Elementary Students’ Collaborative Design
Process”
This study was explored by the opportunities afford by the participation of a professional
design expert with elementary students. Areas studied were collaborative designs that process in
the context of a broader inquiry-oriented study project. It was held for three semesters and was
infused into Design and Technology classrooms. Studied viewed how authentic processes being
based on professional design practices. There were video-recorded lessons on lamp designing
and a view of the project’s database was the source of the study. “Having the professional
designer working with the students it provided those students with the opportunity to gain the
full potential those solving complex design problems can offer to learning (Kangas, K.,
Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, P., & Hakkarainen, K. 2013, 12). The results indicated that the designer’s
participation opened up the world of designing for the students and enabled them to engage in
embodied design practice. The study was able to gain new insights of the professional
mechanisms of designing by allowing students to participate above and beyond.
“Does Every Student Have a Voice? Critical Action Research on Equitable Classroom
Participation, Practices, Language, Teaching Research”
This is another article about college level students, and its focus was on Asian students
being taught by western teachers. The article focused around the stereotypes of Asian learners as

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being passive and restrained and also why one student would choose to be quiet and others
would not. The article discussed the interventions that took place and how they actually changed
the oral participation structure. Originally the teacher would call on the students that would raise
their hands first, she then allowed them to shout out answers, and then she discussed how she
had to give up these tendencies in order to make a change. The teacher then decided to use
different techniques that would be used to facilitate discussions along with incorporating more
group work activities. Mack (2012) explained that different teaching methodologies enable
students to take on different roles however they still need guidance during these activities. The
outcome of this was promising and the results showed that students ended up feeling much more
confident in speaking up.
“Using Internet Assessment Tools for Health and Physical Education
Instruction”
This article identifies the importance of participation through technology in a physical
education classroom. Teachers who are physical education teachers are in a position where they
can implement technology in their classrooms. Incorporating technology allows your students to
be more effective and to make student learning relevant. Studies and evidence show the use of
technology is an instructional tool in physical education with technology this enables teachers to
create more developmentally environments and student autonomy. Thornburg states, that
“Computer technology can be an effective tool to increase teacher effectiveness, and we know
from best practices information that increased teacher effectiveness will result in greater student
learning, (2004). When involving technology to a physical education environment there is strong
evidence leading towards more participation. Technology has jumped so high in the last twenty
years and it is evident that it helps teachers to have students participate more in their classrooms.

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Methodology
After this week defining this methodology can be difficult, however it can be very
rewarding in aspect to the teacher inquiry process. After deep consideration there was only one
solution that came to conclusion to improve class participation and that was to refine the
methodology question. Adjusting the focus of the action research would be to determine how to
improve class participation and after reading the different scholarly articles the decision made is
to research the different ways a teacher can incorporate class participation in their classroom and
gather how the participation impacts student performance and learning. “Student
participation in higher education classrooms is considered important for
learning and achievement, but what is meant by participation is rarely made
clear,” (Mariskind, C., 2013). Now that there is a clear focus on what to research, developing
the action to implement in the classroom will be the challenging part.
In order to address the problem being identified in the methodology some changes in the
teaching in order to improve the amount of student participation that takes place in the classroom
has to take place. First collecting data from the 5th grade Health Education classes in order to get
a baseline understanding of when students participate. During this process, exploring the
different learning styles each of the student’s feelings and their comfort levels.

Providing

students with a survey to collect information about their perception of their active participation
during class must be done. The survey will open the student’s eyes to where they have strengths
and where they have weaknesses. From this data collection, the teacher will determine who feels
more stress when it comes to classroom participation. “The importance of encouraging
students to actively contribute to classroom activities and discussions is
stressed, although some have argued that cultural and individual differences

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must be acknowledged, and they critique dominant norms and expectations
of verbal participation,” (Mariskind, C., 2013). During the two weeks, conferencing with
the students in order to follow up on their progress on how they feel their participation in class is
improving. During this time completing a chart to monitor their progress will be done as well.
At the end of the two weeks the students will complete an exit survey to see if there was any
growth. During the two-week period the teacher shall make a conscious effort to incorporate new
ways to help the students participate more in class.
This week new ways that can help the students become more involved in their class
participation have been created. That being said utilizing a more think-pair-share strategies
into the daily activities is one way to increase participation. This is a quick and effective way to
get the students to communicate because they are asked a question, given a minute to think about
it and then they pair up with a partner to compare notes and they share the information with the
class. Giving students the opportunity to engage in a think-pair-share activity will alleviate any
stress a student has when they are just called upon. Mariskind states “Classroom
participation can also build relationships between students and encourage a
sense of community in the classroom, (2013). This will give the students an
opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts with another person before taking the risk to share
with the entire group. Another strategy that is going to utilize more successfully in class
participation is pre-assessments. Students need to be engaged in the lesson in order to want to
participate. If analyzing the pre-assessments and finding out what the students already knows
this allows the teacher the opportunity to not re-teach something. Instead it allows the teacher to
dig deeper into the topic they already have prior knowledge in.

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Classroom participation is more like active learning and in order to get the students more
engaged in class, there must be changes in the everyday planning. “Students in classes with a
high degree of participation are less concerned about their ability to perform well in the class,
about their peers’ opinions, and about their overall intellectual ability, (Tatum, H. E., Schwartz,
B. M., Schimmoeller, P. A., & Perry, N., 2013, 12).This methodology is based on the fact that
students achieve more when they are active members in the classroom. Finding successful ways
to help the student become more involved in the topic being covered, in order for them to
become enhanced at class participation. The ten articles that were read this week gave a great
deal of information on how to incorporate more types of activities that supports this
methodology. Giving the students a survey, a pre and post conference, and checking in with
them frequently will allow the teacher to gather information on their growth and change in terms
of class participation. Action research is a process that begins by reflecting deeply on one’s
teaching practice and looking at these articles gave the opportunity to find new ways to
strengthen teaching. Talking to other co-workers in the school and in the department will
provide the help and support needed in order to make sure the action research is a success.
Research Design
Teacher inquiry seems like it can become an overwhelming process, even if incorporating
teaching and inquiry into the practice, it can be very difficult and draining at times. Mills states,
“There is nothing wrong with realigning your inquiry midway through it and is done to benefit
you and the students in your classroom,” (2013). Working with my teaching colleagues and
administration in my building throughout the action research process will allow the experience
more impressionable for the teacher, others, and more needed adjustments for the research may
occur.

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During the research process sharing the work with a few colleagues was valued with
respect from their input and knowledge. Working in the elementary school level, the opportunity
to work with a small group of teachers and be able to discuss student and classroom issues can be
met daily. Make sure to plan to share the experience with this group of teachers or a just a
teacher so there is more feedback for the research. By sharing the research with them, they can
provide feedback and guidance on the process. Take their questions and concerns and
incorporate them into the study.
Finding resources like co-workers who have experienced or conducted similar or even
their own action research would be a great start for a positive research project. Be sure to be
sharing thoughts and ideas with a small group in order to determine what their opinions on the
topic are. Sharing findings with the small group would be less risky and it would provide insight
on what kind of insight the findings would have on others. Teachers who include class
participation and discussion in their daily lessons would benefit from this research.

Data Collection Plan
The four different ways being planned to collect data in order to gain insights into the
methodology about class participation are focus groups, surveys, interviews, and field notes.
This would be beneficial and would be best suited best for the methodology. All four of these
plans will have practical value because they will give information that will be beneficial to the
study. These four ways are planned appropriately to used correctly in order to collect data that
would work perfectly in the classroom and they would not interfere with the everyday regular
routine.
The four data tools picked will help gain insight on the methodology. Field notes is
writing down what is going on in the class and exactly what the learners are saying. Mills

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quotes, “Data collected from surveys, observations, and interviews with children suggest that the
majority of students were either happy with the grading system or neutral about it,” (2014). This
plan will be very beneficial to the research because it will give the opportunity to reflect on when
students participate and how much participating they do. Field notes would probably be the most
practical strategy because the teacher would be able to collect the ongoing actions and be able to
reflect on them at the end of the study to see how much things changed. Interviews will help
gain insights on how students preserve their participation level and how they found out they
improved over the course of the study. Surveys are a way that can collect measurable and
qualitative data. “One of the most frequent data analysis activities undertaken by action
researchers is coding, the process of trying to find patterns and meaning in data collected through
the use of surveys, interviews, and questionnaires,” (Mills, 2014). The teacher can have the
students complete questioners online so it can help the teacher to better organize the different
responses. Looking for common themes and evaluate what the students are feeling. Focus
groups would also be beneficial because it will act as an informal meeting to the problem and it
will provide quick feedback on how the students are progressing. The four ways that the teacher
will plan to collect the data in order to gain insights into the methodology on class discussion
will help the goals to be reached.
Data Analyze
After collecting the data, it needs to be analyzed and triangulation is a method of highest
priority in determining internal validity in qualitative research “Triangulation is generally
accepted in action research circles that researchers should not rely on any single source of data,
interview, observation, or instrument,” (2014). After collecting all the data, setting a time to
review all of the data in order to find out what trends can find in the work will be priority.

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After taking field notes, interviews, surveys, and utilize focus groups then can triangulate
the results in order to have a better understanding of the entire picture. Comparing and
contrasting similarities and differences in the notes and observations will be a major part to the
research. Anticipation in finding discrepancies of the data and by utilizing triangulation will
develop a complete across-the-board view of the newly gained knowledge. For example if a
student answers questions in the survey one way but then answers the question differently in an
interview another way, then be able to review the field notes to determine what facts and
information are off. It is important to utilize different instruments in the research process so that
when analyzing the results there will be a more understanding of the whole picture.
Sample Selection
The reason for choosing the 5th grade class for this study was because of the maturity
level that needed to be set for the foundation of this research. Having the highest grade as first
study allowed the research to be experimented at the highest levels. The integrated class
involving a behavioral and general education class was great because of all the different
assessments that were collected during the research. The behavioral class was just as informative
as the general education class, if not more. The teacher was able to understand the student’s
needs and adjust the lessons, which benefited both teacher and students.
Results
During these four weeks of collecting data there were many surprising obstacles. The
four ways of collecting data to see how to increase participation during class seemed to have
worked extremely well. Although very basic and plain the results increased substantially. To
start off field notes were effective because it allowed analyzing the students without them either
knowing they were being under the impression of collecting data from teacher. The lesson was

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conducted and field notes were written down to adjust the teacher’s strategies to help increase
students participation levels. The second area used to collect data was interviewing the students
who were not involving themselves or making an effort to want to participate more. Here they
sat down independently with the teacher and were asked a few basic questions and propositions
to start and want to participate more adequately during class. The third section of collecting data
was focus groups where like field notes information was similarly collected. The final strategy
where data was collected was a very productive method because it help and shown proof of the
increase in wanting to participate more during daily lessons. Self-Assessments were handed out
to the students and they were asked a series of questions about how much they like participating
in class and ways to help the teacher increase their wants to do so. They were handed a Pre and
Post Assessment and the numbers increased astoundingly.
Findings
There were a few charts and surveys conducted during these weeks of collecting data for
this action research project. The first strategy to collect data was with a Pre-Assessment survey.
This included a ten question survey on how the students feel about participating in class. This
was very informative and appropriately noted. This also allowed the teacher to understand the
student’s thoughts and changes could be made to benefit both student and teacher. When looking
at Table 1 for the Pre Assessment the students seem to have a low interest percentage when it
came to participation. Column 1 is the question, column 3, 4, and 5 are the choices they made
from not interested to interest to very interested. Below question 2, questions 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are
answered with a yes or no answer. Table 1 the pre-assessment goes as follows:

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

5A DelGrande

4/8

THURSDAYS
HEALTH

PREAssessment
Survey

Question:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Table 1

Answered
1 Not
Interested
33.3%
44.5%

2
Interested
48.2%
37%

YES
77.7%

No
22.3%

29.7%
44.5%
62.9%
51.8%

70.3%
55.5%
37.1%
48.2%

NA
NA

NA

20

3 Very
Interested
18.5%
18.5%

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Table 2 is the same as Table 1 but it was the Post Assessment:

Table 2

5A DelGrande

4/8

THURSDAYS
HEALTH

POSTAssessment
Survey

Question:
1
2
3
4

Answered
1 Not
Interested
18.5%
14.8%

2
Interested
44.4%
59.2%

YES
48.1%

No
51.9%

66.6%
59.2%
81.4%
74%

33.4%
40.8%
18.6%
26%

3 Very
Interested
37.1%
26%

NA

5
6
7
8
9
10

NA

NA

Table 3 simply shows the results with a percentage increase and decrease for each question
comparing to the pre to the post self assessment:
Table 3

5A DelGrande
THURSDAYS
HEALTH

RESULTS

Question:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Answered
1 Not
Interested
-14.8%
-29.8%

2
Interested
-3.8%
+22.2%

YES
+29.6%

No
-29.6%

+36.9%
+14.7%
+18.5%
+22.2%

-36.9%
-14.7%
-18.5%
+22.2%

NA
NA

NA

3 Very
Interested
+18.6%
+7.5%

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Table 4 was the Participation Guide line. Each time a student participated they were tallied and
noted:

Participation
Guider
Aguire
Alsina
Alvarez
Antun
Arenas
Ayala-Villa
Azevedo
Campos
Castillo
Checa
Davilla
Davis
Eizaga
Garrido
Lladoc
Lombrado
Lu
Mikhaeil
Ortiz
Quinde
Rochey
Schettini
Schneider
Vaquerro
Vicent
Justin
Rivera

Fernando
Jessica
Olivia
Elayna
Juan
Angelee
Josiah
Camilia
Izaiah
Annette
Carlos
Kayla
Andrea
Max
Ysabelle
Francesco
Jeffrey
Maro
Nicole
Cynthia
Camille
Brianna
Corrine
Richard
Infante
Morales
Jayden

Week
1

Week2

Week3

1
0
0
1
2
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
2
0
1
0
1
2
1
0
1
1

2
1
0
1
3
2
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
2
1
1
0
1
2

2
1
1
1
3
2
2
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
2
2
1
1
3
2
1
1
1
2

27
+9

39
+12

Participants 18
Increased:

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

23

Discussion
Looking at the results participation has increased dramatically throughout the weeks of
collecting data. When looking at the results for the Self-Assessment you can see that there were
positive changes with participating during the lessons. Question 1 shows an 18% not interested
to a 44% increase. The more positive results are from Question 1 Very Interested went from an
18.5% to a 37.1% increase. Question 2 results for not interested went from a 44.5% to a 14.8%
and interested went from 37% to a 39.2%. Very interested increased from an 18.5% to a 26%
again all positive feedbacks. Question 4 was a 77.7 % YES to a 48.1% NO in their post
assessment. That is a 29.6% decrease proving that the participation increased yet again.
Question 6 was a 29.7% to a 48.1% with a 36.9% increase. Question 7 was 44.5% to 59.2% with
a 14.7% increase. Question 8 was a 62.9% to an 81.4% with a 18.5% increase. And finally
question 9 was 51.8% to a 74% with an increase of 22.2%. Questions 3, 5, and 10 were opinions
and Not Applicable to the true data collection. This area helped the teacher identify the students
thoughts on participation and what the teacher can do to change and adjust their lessons. Table 4
was a chart or the Participation Guider that tallied up each student’s participation for the three
weeks of collecting data. The teacher would tally up each student who raised his or her hand and
answered a question. When they did the teacher identified the participation to the class and
confidently congratulated and thanked the student for doing so. Week two shows +9 person
increase with participation and Week 3 shows a +12. The difference was just by marking and
keeping note with who participated and who did not the teacher was able to pinpoint and chose
those who rarely raise their hand. The teacher was able to adjust and look at that particular
student’s feedback and incorporate their interests in the lessons. Looking back at the hypothesis

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

24

of this action research project it clearly shows that it was followed as expected with results
proving to be positive ones.
Limitations
The one limitation that occurred was that the PARCC test was being issued throughout the data
collection part of the research. The health classes had to be rescheduled and adjustments needed
to be made in order to collect the data and stay on the ordinal deadline. In order to stay on track
health was taught twice a week for a one week in order to catch up due to falling behind because
of the PARCC testing. In all, the rearrangements worked and the data was collected as well aand
the research concluded in the original time frame.
Summary and Further Research
By collecting information from the students as well as their feedback allowed the
students and teacher to be motivated more and participate during the lessons. There were areas
of the research that helped it be a success such as by conducting surveys and filling out a pre and
post assessments understanding their opinions about participating in class. Also, strategies on
how to collect data was done by other teachers in the department expressing their ideas helped
tremendously. The method of choice for this project was the teacher gave tally marks to students
each time they participated. Conferences for students were altered before or after class to help
encourage them to participate more.
The results confirmed that the hypothesis stands corrected and now is ready for other
grades to be researched and studied. Self-assessments were a key factor as predicted in the
hypothesis and became a factor when data was collected. This was the most important area
during the data process and without this area the research would not be a success. Allowing the
students to give the teacher feedback on what they like and do not like was impeccable for the

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

25

research. The independent interviews and conferences were just as important but not as much as
the self-assessments. Keeping a participation guideline was a great way for the teacher to keep
track of who participated during class during the research. With out this guider the teacher
would not be able to know who was participating more and who was not. Being rewarded with
praise was a basic focus for the students but the teacher felt over compensation would be too
childish for the 5th grade level. Being that the 5th grade class was the first to be studied
adjustments have been made so that research is ready to be continued and to be examined with
the rest of the primary levels.
Action Plan
The action plan for the research is to continue studying and adjusting the methods to
finding ways for students to improve in class participation. Research can always be never ending
when it comes to finding new ways for improvement. Constant students and teachers feedback
and thoughts towards participation is crucial for the research to continue being successful.
Personal assessment is an important method for this research and must be recognized and have it
incorporated in this project. Professional workshops could be brought upon to the district and
this research can be a key component in proving how this is a successful project for improving
participation in the classroom. Passing the information to other faculty members in your school
and district is another important way to get your research to be used and tested. Most
importantly as teacher in order for it to be successful one must actually stick with the research
and make the changes for it to become more successful. As a teacher do not give up on the
research and continue to make positive strides as data is collected and changes are made.
Participation does not come unless one knows how to incorporate in their lessons. This action
research project is the gateway to increasing more participation in the everyday classroom.

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

26

Conclusion
In conclusion constant feedback and adjustment must be made to continue a success rate
with participation in the everyday classroom. Without feedback and assessment the project will
never be at the highest success rate it should be. Conferences must be at a constant and possibly
attending seminars identifying ways to improve participation should be included on the agenda.
Going to workshops can really be effective with learning different ways to improve participation
in the classroom. Mentioned throughout the research project if there is no change and
adjustments then there is no area for improvement. When this research is being conducted make
sure as a teacher you are prepared to give it your all and make any changes to make the research
a positive success.

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

27

References

Belleville Board of Education Website, 2014. Student Population and Census.
http://www.bellevilleschools.org/
Chapman, G., Goode, J., Margolis, J., Ryoo, J. (2014). Broadening Participation That
Classroom ‘Magic’. Communications of the ACM. Jul2014, Vol. 57 Issue 7, p31-33.
Drakeford, W. (2012). The Effects of Cooperative Learning on the Classroom Participation of
Students Placed at Risk for Societal Failure. Online Submission.
Jones, R.C. (2008). The “Why” of Class Participation: Minority Students, Academic Discourse,
Cultural Conflicts, and Issues of Representation in Whole Class Discussion. Journal Of
Language, Identity, and Education, 10 (4), 250-265.
New Jersey Department of Education, (2014). New Jersey Health and Physical Education
Curriuclum. http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/peh/h35.shtml
Kangas., Hakkarainenm, P., Hakkarainen K. (2011). Design Expert’s Participation In
Elementary Students’ Collaborative Design Process. International Journal of
Technology
and Design Education. Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 161-178.
Kernodle, Michael. McKethan, Robert. Robinowitz, Erik, (2013). Increasing Active
Participation Lectures Using Student Response Systems. Chronicle of Kinesiology &
Physical Education in Higher Education 2013, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p14 4p.
Mack, L. (2012). Does Every Student Have a Voice? Critical Action Research on Equitable
Classroom Participation. Practices, Language, Teaching Research, 16(3), 417-434.
Mariskind, C. (2013). Always allowing the voice’: expectations of student participation and the
disciplining of teachers' practice. Teaching in Higher Education. Aug2013, Vol. 18 Issue
6, p596-605. 10p.

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

Tatum, H. E., Schwartz, B. M., Schimmoeller, P. A., & Perry, N. (2013, 12). Classroom
Participation and Student-Faculty Interactions: Does Gender Matter?The Journal of
Higher Education,84(6), 745-768. doi: 10.1353/jhe.2013.0036
Thornburg, R., Hill, K. (2004) Using Internet Assessment Tools for Health and Physical
Education. Instruction TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning,
v48 n6 p53-55, 70. 4 pp.

28

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
Appendices
Timeline
Stage 1 (week 1)


Student survey administered and reviewed
Focus groups meet for the first time
Discuss with counterparts during team meetings about this action research

Stage 2 (week 2)


Observations
Field notes
Collect data

Stage 3(week 3)



Interview individual students
Focus groups
Continue to take Field notes & observations
Exit survey

Stage 4 (week 4)



Look for patterns and trends
Compare student surveys to observations and field notes
Summarize results
Present findings to school and peers

29

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

30

Survey for Participation During Health Class
Grade Level: _______
Class Size: _________
1. Not Interested 2. Interested 3. Very Interested
1. How do you feel about participating during class? __________
2. How much do you want to participate during class? _________
3. Do you become angry when you are chosen to participate in class? YES / NO
4. Do you feel embarrassed when you are chosen to participate in class? YES / NO
5. Please write down any other feelings you have when you are being chosen to participate:
________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
6. Are you willing to learn how to participate in class more? __________
7. Do you care if you participate in class? _________________
8. Do you think class would be more interesting if you participate in class? _______
9. Are the lessons interesting for you to participate in health class? __________
10. What do you need in the lessons in order for you to participate? __________
_______________________________________________________________

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

31

5A
DelGr
ande
THURSDAY
HEALTH

Aguire
Alsina
Alvarez
Antun
Arenas
Ayala-Villa
Azevedo
Campos
Castillo
Checa
Davilla
Davis
Eizaga
Garrido
Lladoc
Lombrado
Lu
Mikhaeil
Ortiz
Quinde
Rochey
Rivera
Schettini
Schneider
Vaquerro

Fernando
Jessica
Olivia
Elayna
Juan
Angelee
Josiah
Camilia
Izaiah
Annette
Carlos
Kayla
Andrea
Max
Ysabelle
Francesco
Jeffrey
Maro
Nicole
Cynthia
Camille
Jayden
Brianna
Corrine
Richard

3/12

3/16

3/19

3/23

3/26

4/6

4/8

PreAssessment
Survey

Observation

Collect
Data

Interview
Students/ Collect
Data/
Incorporate
Participation
Guider

Interview
Students/
Collect
Data/
Continue
Participation
Guider

Compare
surveys to
observation
Conclude
Participation
Guider

Post
Assessment
Survey

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
5A DelGrande

4/8

THURSDAYS
HEALTH

PREAssessment
Survey

Question:
1
2
3
4

NA

5A DelGrande

4/8

THURSDAYS
HEALTH

POSTAssessment
Survey

Answered
1 Not
Interested
33.3%
44.5%

2
Interested
48.2%
37%

YES
77.7%

No
22.3%

29.7%
44.5%
62.9%
51.8%

70.3%
55.5%
37.1%
48.2%

3 Very
Interested
18.5%
18.5%

NA

Question:

5
6
7
8
9
10

Table 1

NA

5
6
7
8
9
10

1
2
3
4

32

Table 2

Answered
1 Not
Interested
18.5%
14.8%

2
Interested
44.4%
59.2%

YES
48.1%

No
51.9%

66.6%
59.2%
81.4%
74%

33.4%
40.8%
18.6%
26%

NA
NA

NA

3 Very
Interested
37.1%
26%

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation
Table 3

5A DelGrande
THURSDAYS
HEALTH

RESULTS

Question:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

33

Answered
1 Not
Interested
-14.8%
-29.8%

2
Interested
-3.8%
+22.2%

YES
+29.6%

No
-29.6%

+36.9%
+14.7%
+18.5%
+22.2%

-36.9%
-14.7%
-18.5%
+22.2%

NA
NA

NA

3 Very
Interested
+18.6%
+7.5%

Action Research Project: Strategies to Increase Class Participation

34

Table 4

Participation
Guider
Aguire
Alsina
Alvarez
Antun
Arenas
Ayala-Villa
Azevedo
Campos
Castillo
Checa
Davilla
Davis
Eizaga
Garrido
Lladoc
Lombrado
Lu
Mikhaeil
Ortiz
Quinde
Rochey
Schettini
Schneider
Vaquerro
Vicent
Justin
Rivera

Fernando
Jessica
Olivia
Elayna
Juan
Angelee
Josiah
Camilia
Izaiah
Annette
Carlos
Kayla
Andrea
Max
Ysabelle
Francesco
Jeffrey
Maro
Nicole
Cynthia
Camille
Brianna
Corrine
Richard
Infante
Morales
Jayden

Week
1

Week2

Week3

1
0
0
1
2
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
2
0
1
0
1
2
1
0
1
1

2
1
0
1
3
2
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
2
1
1
0
1
2

2
1
1
1
3
2
2
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
2
2
1
1
3
2
1
1
1
2

27
+9

39
+12

Participants 18
Increased: