Teaching Large Classes: Engaging Students Through Active Learning Practice and Interactive Lecture

Teaching Large Classes: Engaging Students Through Active Learning Practice and Interactive Lecture

Japhet E. Lawrence (Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2019010105

Abstract

Higher education around the world are experiencing significant growth in student enrolment, as a result, educators face the daunting challenge of teaching larger classes, while improving the quality of instruction and subsequent value delivered to students. Large class can become a daunting task to any teacher who has never taught a large class before and teaching a large group of students can be intimidating for both students and lecturers. The purpose of this article is to identify effective teaching and assessment strategies to address the challenges of teaching in large class environment. It focusses on the idea of student engagement as a strategy to address the challenges faced by large class learning environments. By focusing on student engagement and adapting teaching and assessment strategies to promote critical thinking, it is possible to overcome the challenges posed by large class environments into opportunities for effective student learning. The study provides valuable direction for faculty faced with teaching and supporting large-class environments in higher education.
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Background

Teaching large class can be a challenge, regardless of experience of the faculty members tasked with teaching these courses may experience frustration, especially if one is doing this for the first time (Kirkwood, 2013). Teaching a large class can be a daunting task to any teacher and teaching a large group of students can be intimidating for both students and teachers alike (Jungic et al, 2006). The large-class experience challenges students, especially if they are new to university experience and with so many of their peers listening, many students in large classes feel too intimidated to ask questions (Ives, 2000) or too overwhelmed by the material to approach instructors or others for help.

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