Increasing student participation in class
with technology

The problem

Shyness & social judgement can inhibit a student to participate in class

It can be intimidating to interrupt a lesson to ask a question infront of a crowded lecture theatre. With the added fear of social judgment when speaking out.

Student worry

"In a class of like 30 people, I'd feel happy to put my hand up. In a class of 110, it's got to be something quite severe to put my hand up."


Studies have shown that low self-esteem, anxiety, and general lack of confidence can be responsible for student’s passiveness in class. Fear of sounding unintelligent when pointing out their view, can make student choose to be comfortably quiet.

Also in larger classroom settings, students tend to keep to themselves and have less opportunities to participate.

Why it matters

Class engagement leads to higher level of learning

Participation in class is a crticial component of learning. It provides students the chance to apply their knowledge, express their ideas and enhance their own understanding.

Student thinking

The Idea

A web portal where students can post questions from their mobile devices during class. Questions are delivered real-time to the teacher's dashboard.

1 Ask questions in private

Students can ask questions privately through the portal while choosing to keep their identity concealed. Teachers are able to received questions real-time on their dashboard.


Questions are displayed with a large font, allowing the teacher to read them from afar. The background colour also changes with every new question, allowing easy identification when a new question is asked.


  • The privacy provides comfort for students from being named out.
  • Ensure equal opportunity for students who are less vocal to voice out.
  • Questions can be asked without interrupting the lesson.


  • Learn what students don't understand, and adjust the instruction accordingly.
  • Group similar questions and answer them together.
  • Decide the right juncture during the lesson to answer questions.

2 Setting up an activity

In larger classroom setting, it can be easier for teachers to deliver discussion-based activities through the portal. Activities such as quizzes, case-study analyses, role playing that can encourage everyone to participate and talk.

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  • Every student gets to participate and think about the answer.
  • Students can first respond individually and then discuss their ideas with their peers.
  • Increases the feeling of class participation for a student.


  • Get a more accurate picture on student's level of understaning.

3 Real-time feedback

Students are able to provide feedback on the difficulty of the ongoing lesson. Allowing the teacher to adjust the lesson to a more comfortable pace or repeat the topic again.


Teachers can see the real-time status of the difficulty students are facing right on the dashboard.

Seeking consensus

Asking for consensus can encourage students to participate more enthusiastically in class. Because students can feel that their opinions are taken into consideration.

Without students voicing out, it can be challenging for teachers to spot students who are struggling to understand the lesson.


  • Ensure that everybody's opinion is heard and respected.
  • Making students view their participation as a contribution to a shared experience. Such contributions builds a sense of collectivism.


  • Valuable information for future lesson planning.
Student asking

The portal is a platform to provide a supportive, encouraging climate for class participation. Making students more comfortable & confident to ask questions.

Key Takeaways

Never reject an idea. Some ideas might be crazy but it can always evolve into something workable.


1. Factors influencing classroom participation: a case study of Malaysian undergraduate students - Article
2. Class participation and shyness: affect and learning to program - Article
3. Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best-Practice Tips - Article
4. Help Shy Kids—Don't Punish Them - News Article

Next Project

Can a Digital Interface Provide a More Enjoyable Ordering Experience?

User experience is about stories not portfolio.
Get in touch to hear more.
User experience is all about stories not portfolio. Get in touch and hear more.
User experience is all about stories not portfolio.
Get in touch and hear more.

User experience is all about stories not portfolio. Get in touch and hear more.