Post discussion questions online before class or assign reading responses or pre-class quizzes to ensure students come to class prepared and you learn what would be best to focus class discussion on.


  • Along with reading assignments, ask students to look over discussion questions and/or complete reading responses or pre-class quizzes.
  • These pre-class assignments can have students develop clarifying questions that can help launch class discussions.
  • Look over these reading responses or quizzes to identify common questions or misunderstandings to address in class.
  • You can ask students who rarely contribute to class discussions to read out their pre-written question or answer to kick off the discussion.


  • Some students contribute very little to classroom discussions because they are simply unprepared. Some students are confused by the reading or lectures but are too shy to ask their questions in class without being first called upon. Other students can find it challenging to develop their ideas or collect their thoughts within a quickly evolving discussion. In addition, pre-class assignments are helpful to students who are taking a class that is not taught in their native language..