SOAR Student Profiles

Brooke Busbee

Brooke Busbee

  • SOAR Position: Member; Vice President (2022-23); Alumni
  • Major: Psychology

Current Focus: The Effects of Anonymity on Classroom Participation

Additional Interests: Classroom dynamics and student retention

Project Description

Social pressure and psychological safety in classrooms is an impactful, often overlooked, factor in classroom participation. By exploring methods to circumvent these pressures, we can form an environment that encourages the social risks required to speak up in class, volunteer, and collaborate with peers. Past methodology of mine showed that optional anonymous avenues in classroom activity encouraged more participation from students that otherwise tended to be disengaged in class. I am interested in how this effect functions in various group activity settings, such as general classroom discussion, small group work, and POGIL learning methods.

Why does this topic interest you?

When I was in school, I noted how often myself or my peers wished to participate in class, did did not due to purely social reasons, such as being afraid to be wrong, to stand out in the room, or to incite judgement from peers. This inspired me to explore avenues to alleviate this problem, especially through anonymous classroom participation. I believe that having optional anonymous participation avenues would not only level out social disparity, but would also be viable given the post-Covid rise of digitization in classrooms.

What are your professional aspirations?

I would like to research the psychology of education, particularly regarding classroom participation, student satisfaction, and student retention. Through this, I wish to create a safer learning environment for students and a more engaging classroom for educators.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

If you discover a problem in the world that you wish someone would fix, be the one to fix it.

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