Workshops on how to encourage class participation are a staple of teaching and learning centres across the
country. However, little of that advice is geared to the needs on an oft-neglected subset of introverted university
students: the ones who aren’t shy.
Even though Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, was a
bestseller, and her TED Talk has been viewed more than 10 million times, I’m not sure that our postsecondary
teaching and learning community has fully appreciated its implications.
If we want to encourage all of our students to participate in class, we have to accept that shy students are not
necessarily introverted. And introverts are not necessarily shy.