What are some ways to include everyone? Having a go-to strategy for determining who reports out can be handy, and fairness is key. Students do not want to feel like they are being singled out; instead, it needs to be clear that everyone has an equal chance of being called on. Some instructors write students' names on index cards, shuffling through to select the next contributor and making note of how many times each student has contributed to the class discussion. Similarly, student names can be placed on strips of paper and randomly pulled from a bag, box, or whatever is convenient for the classroom. Here are a few tech-based options that may be worth considering too:
If your class has 50 or fewer students, this web-based tool might be worth checking out. I love its colorful, attention-grabbing design, and the fact that it is easy to use doesn't hurt either! No login needed; it is easy to copy-and-paste student names from a text or Excel file and then save to access in the future with a unique URL.
The Random Name Selector is also web-based and easy to use. Copy students' names from an existing document or spreadsheet and paste into the Change Names area, click Go! and let the tool do the work. The Save and Share button provides a unique URL so that the list of names can be accessed each time you use it in the classroom. One advantage over the Random Name Picker is its ability to accommodate more than 50 names. (I used it successfully with 90 names which accommodates most class sizes on our campus.)
I heard about The Hat from J. Ricky Cox during his session on engaging large classes at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. It is a free download designed for Windows machines, and one of the potential advantages this tool offers is its ability to select more than one name at a time - useful for randomly assigning partners or groups. See the short demo video from Harmony Hollow for more.Entering group numbers instead of individual student names is also an option for each of these tools. In the middle of a class period, I have a tendency to want to call on the groups who either finish first or are most likely to complete high quality work, but it is important to share the wealth and hear from each group (over time). Having a way to randomly call on groups keeps them on their toes and helps guard against groups thinking that they can "get out" of sharing simply by not completing the task in the allotted time or doing poor quality work.
Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.