The present study investigates two instructional strategies that promote student preparation for and participation in class: reading objectives and participation sheets. In the first study, students were asked to complete the reading objectives (knowledge level questions about the assigned reading) and write the extended comments. Extended comments move beyond the knowledge level by demonstrating comprehension, application, or evaluation of the content.

These include personal examples, insights, or questions about the course material. A content analysis of the students’ ex-tended comments found evidence of student engagement as 76.3% of the comments moved beyond the “knowledge” level. Study 2 examined instructors’ perceptions of student preparation for and participation in class. Instructors were asked to reflect on the differences between their classes that used and did not use the graded participation strategies. Instructors reported that the graded participation strategies resulted in more insightful discussions, a more positive class climate, and more knowledge of their students com-pared to their class sections that did not use these instructional tools.