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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Thursday, June 18 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
CON08.11 - Reducing presentation anxiety by using active learning classrooms

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Creating harmony in the classroom starts with fostering a welcoming atmosphere that fosters a safe learning environment, yet even in the safest classroom a persistent fear for most students is presenting in front of the class (Furmark, 2002). Presentation anxiety can lead to a lifelong crippling fear of speaking in front of audiences (small or large) (MacKenzie & Fowler, 2013) and can cause students to avoid disciplines or careers they could have thrived in and been very successful (Stein, et al., 1996; Van Ameringen, et al., 2003). Because presentations are a large part of students’ academic experience and future careers, the purpose of this presentation is to ignite discussion on how spatial configuration and technology in a given classroom can facilitate or reduce presentation anxiety. Participants are invited to think back to their experience as students and/or as an instructor seeing students express anxiety during presentations. They will fill out a questionnaire on presentation anxiety by imagining themselves as a student presenting in a traditional room and then in an Active Learning Classroom (ALCs), and share their responses with a partner. Next, a brief summary will be given on a case study in which one course used the spatial configuration and technology in ALCs to scaffold presentation skills that led to students building confidence in their presentation skills. This will be followed by a discussion with participants on how their first discussions compare with the results from the study, and together brainstorm what aspects they would take away from this session to implement into their classrooms. 

Furmark, T. (2002). Social phobia: overview of community surveys. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105(2), 84-93.

MacKenzie, M. B., & Fowler, K. F. (2013). Social anxiety disorder in the Canadian population: Exploring gender differences in sociodemographic profile.Journal of anxiety disorders, 27(4), 427-434.

Stein, M. B., Walker, J. R., & Forde, D. R. (1996). Public-speaking fears in a community sample: Prevalence, impact on functioning, and diagnostic classification. Archives of General Psychiatry, 53(2), 169-174. 

Van Ameringen, M., Mancini, C., & Farvolden, P. (2003). The impact of anxiety disorders on educational achievement. Journal of anxiety disorders, 17(5), 561-571.


Thursday June 18, 2015 3:45pm - 4:15pm
Salon 3

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