Have a Question?

If you have any question you can ask below or enter what you are looking for!

Strategies for Teaching Large Classes

teachingtimes-header

Large courses with enrollments ranging from 100 to 400 students present challenges for new and seasoned instructors:  How is it possible to integrate teaching strategies to promote engagement and lasting learning in a huge auditorium packed with students?

For example, Psychology, one of the University’s most popular undergraduate fields, requires all of its 1,000 majors to take introductory courses. Furthermore, because Introduction to Psychology also attracts many students from other disciplines, multiple sections of the course are often comprised of more than 300 students from diverse backgrounds, according to Irene Frieze, the department’s director of undergraduate programs.  Even other psychology courses required for majors are large, with more than 200 students.  “Many faculty dislike teaching the large classes because of the difficulty of holding discussions,” according to Frieze.  “Engaging students is very difficult.  The common perception is that a relatively rigid lecture format must be followed.”

To address the challenges of teaching in large classes, the department is carrying out a long-term assessment to determine what teaching methods are most effective.  Meanwhile, new non-tenure stream instructors are now required to teach a large class as part of the interview process.

Beginning with this issue, the Teaching Times is sharing strategies from University instructors who effectively manage large classes.  This issue highlights the experiences of George Bandik, Chemistry;Gretchen Bender, History of Art and Architecture; and Beach Gray, a teaching fellow in Slavic Languages and Literatures.  The contributions of additional instructors will appear in upcoming issues.


MARCH 2012

Contents:

Strategies for Teaching Large Classes

Students Participate in Large Chemistry Classes
Read Article >

Large Introductory Course is Engaging and Fun—Even After Ten Years of Teaching It
Read Article >

Teaching Fellow Shares Ways to Engage Students in Large Class
Read Article >

Losing the Lecture: ACIE Project Proposes Solutions for Student Learning in Large Lecture Biology Classes
Read Article >

Bold New Learning Activity in Biological Sciences
Read Article >

Baranger Award Winner Applies Clinical Training to Her Classroom Teaching
Read Article >

The Next Class: Think-Pair-Share
Read Article >