Smriti Thapa Presents Research at Symposium

Study looks at factors which affect class participation among female Asian students.  


Smriti Thapa ’09 presented a poster, “Female Asian Students in U.S. Classrooms: An Exploratory Study of Class Participation” at the Symposium for Artists & Scholars on April 17, 2009 at Randolph College.

Thapa conducted the research project with her faculty mentor, Dan Farr, adjunct assistant professor of sociology, while an undergraduate student at Randolph College.

An abstract of the project follows...

This research is an exploratory study of female Asian students enrolled in a small, private four-year liberal arts college in Virginia. This study, based on fifteen in-depth interviews, examines the students’ class participation and the various factors that might influence their oral class participation rates. Among the participants, only three liked participating in class discussions and self-described as talkative. A majority of the interviewees had positive attitudes towards class participation. Culture, language barriers, variation on the topics discussed, and class size were major factors influencing participation levels. Among all the factors, sociocultural and language barrier were the most frequently reported affecting class participation.

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars provides Randolph College students from all classes and disciplines the opportunity to present the results of their research, scholarship, and creative work to the entire College community and beyond.

The two-day symposium, modeled after a typical academic conference, features oral presentations of student research, readings of creative work, musical performances, and exhibitions of student artwork. The symposium also includes a poster session, reception and a keynote address from a noteworthy academic speaker.

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