Most students come to college with fears and uncertainty. Whether they are right out of high school or returning to college after a decade or more in the workplace, students fear failing tests, not fitting in with peers, and appearing ignorant in front of their classmates.
Being afraid to ask questions, express opinions, or join group discussions can greatly hinder a student's learning. But you can create an environment that nurtures their confidence and allows them to explore and expand their knowledge without undue risk or fear.
Most people have experienced difficulty learning at some time in their academic careers. Think back to a class in which you felt intimidated. Did your teacher do anything, even inadvertently, to contribute to that feeling? Now think back to a class in which it was safe to ask questions and make comments. How did your teacher encourage you to express and develop your ideas?
How did the students in the Creating a Community of Learners video you watched earlier in this module feel about making mistakes?
What did you see teachers doing to make students feel comfortable taking risks?
What strategies do you use or could you use to create an environment in which students aren't afraid to ask and answer questions?