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Using “off‐topic” presentations to engage students and create a sense of community in the classroom

Using “off‐topic” presentations to engage students and create a sense of community in the classroom Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a straightforward technique for engaging students and building a sense of community in the university classroom by allowing students to give brief extra‐credit presentations on topics of personal interest. Design/methodology/approach – The paper includes an overview of the literature related to engagement and “sense of community,” a discussion of the motivation for incorporating “off‐topic” presentations in the university classroom, a description of the presentation requirements and grading practices, and comments on the results of employing the presentations. Because individual perceptions were the goal of this research, survey methodology was used. All items were measured on a five‐point Likert scale and administered to students at the end of the most recent term. Findings – Using survey results, factor analysis, and regression, the paper finds that the presentations increased student attentiveness and fostered a sense of community in the classes in which the presentations were employed. Originality/value – This research presents a unique method – the use of off‐topic presentations – to increase sense of community in the university classroom. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Using “off‐topic” presentations to engage students and create a sense of community in the classroom

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/17581181111198647
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a straightforward technique for engaging students and building a sense of community in the university classroom by allowing students to give brief extra‐credit presentations on topics of personal interest. Design/methodology/approach – The paper includes an overview of the literature related to engagement and “sense of community,” a discussion of the motivation for incorporating “off‐topic” presentations in the university classroom, a description of the presentation requirements and grading practices, and comments on the results of employing the presentations. Because individual perceptions were the goal of this research, survey methodology was used. All items were measured on a five‐point Likert scale and administered to students at the end of the most recent term. Findings – Using survey results, factor analysis, and regression, the paper finds that the presentations increased student attentiveness and fostered a sense of community in the classes in which the presentations were employed. Originality/value – This research presents a unique method – the use of off‐topic presentations – to increase sense of community in the university classroom.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 23, 2011

Keywords: Sense of community; Off‐topic presentation; Students; Universities

References