To Call or Not to Call on Students

Oct 3
nclass teacher calling on student

To Call or Not to Call on Students

Every teacher encounters a quiet classroom at least once. You’ve waited minutes while students refused to volunteer answers or listened to the same couple of students speak. How do you get the rest of them engaged? Some teachers choose to call on students randomly, but does this really increase engagement, or does it just increase fear? Here’s what we’ve got to say on the subject:

  • If you are going to call on quiet students, make sure you do it right
    Make sure you’re strategic about the students you call on–take note of who has answered questions and who hasn’t. When calling on the quieter students, make sure you don’t pick on one person in particular. nClass can help by automatically recording class participation through our patent pending queuing system. Use these records to prioritize the students you call on.


  • There are plenty of alternatives to calling on students
    Between pulse checks, text comments and comprehension reports, nClass offers several ways for your students to participate without being called upon. You can prompt responses by sending a quiz question midway through class, and students can participate digitally by sending by marking whether they understand you or not. Our smartphone technology is a great way to perk up even the most sluggish of 8:00 am classes.


  • Let students do the calling
    If you’re looking to get quality discussions rather than quantity, your students can vote on the best comments they hear or read. Many students don’t raise their hand because they fear looking bad in front of their peers–nClass gives students a chance to hear positive feedback instead.

How do you call on your students? What are the best alternatives? Let us know in the comments.

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