Strategies for Large Classes: Tips, Tools, and FAQs
Improving In-Class Discussions - Using technology outside of class time can prepare students for excellent in-class discussions. Here are tips for "priming," "integrating," and "reinforcing" by email.
Large Lecture Classess, UC Berkeley - Ten things you can do to make your large lecture course more manageable and effective with reduced resources.
Teaching Large Classes, Pennsylvania State University - A full page of resources created by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, including topics such as Clicker Technology, Active Listening Elements, Class Planning, and Peer Feedback.
Seven Principles: Collection of Ideas for Teaching and Learning with Technology - from the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group. Includes ideas for using technology to enrich and extend faculty-student contact, student-student cooperation, active learning, and prompt feedback; to encourage more time on task and reduce wasted time; to communicate higher expectations; and using technology in ways that support diverse student talents and ways of learning.
Effective Use of PowerPoint, University of Central Florida - Slide presentation software such as PowerPoint can be a highly effective tool to aid learning, but if not used carefully, may instead disengage students and actually hinder learning. This page covers advantages, challenges, three possible approaches, use of PowerPoint for case studies, PowerPoint interactions using clickers, PowerPoint as worksheet, narrated PowerPoint downloads, presenter view, and best practices for delivery and slideshow construction.
Advancing My Teaching: Teaching Large Classes, University of Kansas - As part of KU's Center for Teaching Excellence, this site begins with the common frustrations faced by teachers called to educate in large class settings. Framing these challenges as questions, the Center for Teaching Excellence interjects with the first-hand experiences of local faculty as well as the insights provided by key authors, such as W. McKeachie. The quoted faculty relate to the course challenges and offer personal solutions to the frequently cited obstacle of anonymity in the large classroom.
78 Strategies for Teaching Large Classes, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater- These 78 Strategies are categorized according to a three-tier focus of large class methods: 1) personalize the class, 2) promote active learning, and 3) promote class participation. In addition, this site offers Ideas for Alternative Teaching Methods, ways to incorporate writing assignments and improve classroom organization, and a full resource list of Teaching Large Class literature.
Discussions in Large Classes, Indiana University, Bloomington - The primary method to bring about active learning is discussion, according to Svinicki and McKeachie (2011). But the purpose of discussion is not just to have students discuss; the purpose of discussion is to provide practice and feedback for the kinds of thinking that are the goal of the course.
Practical Tips for Teaching Large Classes: A Teacher's Guide - One of the specialized booklets within "Embracing Diversity: Toolkit for Creating Inclusive, Learner-Friendly Environments," this 58 page document was published by UNESCO in 2006 as part of the global priority to defend a quality education as a basic human right. Recognizing that teaching large classes is one of the major challenges in modern institutions, this booklet offers resources that first define "large classes" and the obstacles they entail. Among its pages, the Top 20 Tips for Teaching Large Classes are particularly helpful.
Teaching Strategies: Large Classes and Lectures, University of Michigan - The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) offers five solid resources under the category of Large Classes and five under Lectures. These resources include best practices discussions, first-hand faculty strategies, and external links to tips divided by age and/or discipline.
Ideas for Teaching Large Lecture Classes, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - A representation of the classic challenges and teaching strategies for instructors of large classes. This article stems from an interview with Professor David Griffiths as well as the feedback of university TAs who have had experience working with large undergraduate lecture courses. Part reflection and part teaching tool, this piece includes insight into course planning and design, schedule organization, lecture techniques, exams, and grading.