Arrange chairs in a circle to ensure all students can see the speaker.


  • Once students have arranged the chairs in a circle ask students to look at the speaker during class discussion and ask speakers to look at students throughout the class rather than just at you.
  • If students are frequently only looking at you when they speak, remind them during a break in the discussion to direct their attention to everyone in the class. You can tell students that if they are looking only at you, you will look up at the ceiling or around the room to try to get them to look at their peers.


  • You and other students might perceive students as disengaged if they are looking down or not looking at the speaker.
  • It is easier for students to have the opportunity to contribute if they can see each other.
  • Sometimes students see the instructor as the only audience for their comments. However, if the goal is to have a whole-class discussion then students attention needs to be directed at the whole class.