Articles and Handbooks Related to Large Enrollment Classes
Generating and Facilitating Engaging and Effective Online Discussions (pdf) - Many experts on student-centered online learning agree that the discussion board is the place where some of the most important learning can happen. But as teachers and facilitators, we have to find ways to support students in "driving" that learning. This 11-page online booklet from the University of Oregon's Teaching Effectiveness Program is full of tips and examples. (For help with PSU's online course site platform, click here.)
Using Online Assessment in Face-to-Face Courses (pdf) - Online course sites provide instructors with tools for building online assessments using different question types. These assessments can provide students with immediate feedback, are automatically graded (with the exception of essay questions), and scores are logged into the online Grade Center. Instructors can use the Assessment features to test student knowledge, measure student progress, and gather information from students.
Although this 15-page online booklet from the University of Oregon's Teaching Effectiveness Program references Blackboard as the online course site platform, the same ideas can be used in other online course site platforms (D2L, etc.). (For help with PSU's online course site platform, click here.)
Teaching Naked: why removing technology from your classroom will improve student learning - José Antonia Bowen (Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University) discusses the benefits of using technology before and after, but not during class time. Originally published in the National Teaching and Learning Forum Newsletter and posted with permission to Standford University's Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List.
Teaching Extra-Large Classes and the Role of Technology - from the Chronicle of Higher Education, a ProfHacker blog post by Mark Sample, who uses technology to maintain a student-centered environment and a range of small, low-stakes assignments to sustain the engagement and focus of his students. Comments following the post are also enlightening.
Strategies for Teaching Large Classes, University of California, Santa Barbara- This site offers multiple links that extend beyond the UC specific classroom. Included in these resources are the following articles: "Large Classes and the Perception of Fairness," and "Three Commonly Offered Suggestions for Teaching Large Classes." Teaching Large Classes Well and Teaching Tips by W. McKeachie are also included among the list of recommended print sources.
Large Classes: A Teaching Guide, University of Maryland- A handbook created by the Center for Teaching Excellence, with emphasis on Personalizing the Large Class, Collaborative/Cooperative Learning, and Involving TAs.
A Survival Handbook for Teaching Large Classes, University of North Carolina, Charlotte- This resource document was created in response to a series of questions, culled from the challenges instructors of large classes face in institutions around the world. These challenges form the handbook's chapters, and target the topics of anonymity, attendance, class climate, exams, participation, and technology.
Effective Teaching Methods for Large Classes- This article by Jason M. Carpenter of the Univeristy of South Carolina responds to rising student enrollment at universities and, consequently, rise in class size. As explained in the abstract, Carpenter's "study uses descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to examine the effectiveness of five teaching methods (lecture, lecture/discussion combination, jigsaw, case study, team project) in a large class setting. In addition, student preferences for class size and teaching methods are explored. The findings provide valuable direction for faculty teaching large classes."
(Literature) Resources for Teaching Large Classes, Indiana University- The Center for Postsecondary Research at the NSSE Institute for Effective Educational Practice compiled this list of print and online sources on the topic of large classroom instruction. This site also provides a particularly useful collection of classic literature references, as well as several new and discipline specific citations.
Teaching Large Math Classes: Three Instructors, One Experience - This article, written by Veselin Jungic, Deborah Kent, and Petra Metz, was published in October 2006 in the International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education. Defining large classes as courses with over 350 students, this article "discusses issues of preparation, organization, course administration, instruction, use of technology, and student management, while offering constructive help and useful techniques for teaching large mathematics classes. General reflections from three instructors on their large class teaching experiences are followed by a model of how large freshmen calculus courses are conducted at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC."
Adaptive Teaching for Large Classes, National University of Singapore - Yong Lian discusses teaching large classes, adaptive teaching strategies, and web based instruction, in his article for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He particularly focuses on the use of technology as an "adaptive technique to trace learners’ performance during and after a lecture so that the educator is able to quickly adjust course contents to suit the needs of learners."
Applying the Science of Learning to the Classroom and Beyond: Teaching for long-term retention and transfer - While not specifically about large-enrollment classes, this article from Change (July/August 2003, pp. 37-41) by D.F. Halpern and M.D. Hakel will most certainly help instructors of large classes design effective curriculum. Halpern and Hakel answer the question "How can we apply what research on human learning can tell us to both higher education institutions and many other places where adults learn?" They focus on strategies for increasing long-term retention of knowledge and students' ability to transfer what they've learned in a school context to an out-of-school context.