Teaching Large Classes

Teaching Large Classes
Gosha Zywno
Eric Kam
Maureen Reed
Large or Small?
Relative to small classes engaging students
•More planning
•More behaviour management
•More effort to get to know the students
•More performance skills
•More emails, marking, ….more time
Effectively teaching large classes
Make your class feel small
Being organized
Managing Disruption
Teaching to Diversity
Personalizing the environment with active
Make your large class feel small
• Walk around, move towards students, group
work, TAs hand things out
• Encourage questions
• Be available
• Learn student names….if possible
• Relate material to student experience, add
your own
• Give personalized feedback
Being organized- The Lecture
Know the learning outcomes for your course
Know your students level and experience
Lecture needs to be added value to the text
Teach less better
Include stage directions in your notes-when
will you do what
• Have a plan B if technology fails
• Plan when you will give activities and breaks
During the Lecture
Provide an Agenda
Know material so you do not need to read
Provide occasional summaries
Check that students can see and hear you
Repeat questions
Managing Behaviour
• Consider the class contract
• Plan for disruption
• Solicit feedback
– One minute paper
– Create test items
– Ask what they would like repeated
Teach to Diversity
Multiple ways of presenting the same concept
Encourage natural supports
Repeat questions
Post slides or try guided notes
Be engaged with your students
A word about age
Teaching Strategies for Younger Learners
Don’t always have life experience
Bring in relevant stories, videos, and news
items that they can discuss
May not have well established values and
beliefs (or may have unexamined beliefs)
Show them the diversity of opinion on topics
and kindly try to correct misconceptions
Turn to the faculty member for guidance
Try to show them what a self directed approach
is but give clear guidance in assignments and
Feel the need to be taught
Provide them with content material
Like a guided approach
Provide guided activities that they can work on
in class
Are fine with survey courses but want some
Show them how course materials apply to their
life and future professions. Tell them about
your research of professional experience
Learn in many ways and need information
presented in many ways
Use a variety of teaching methods
Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners
Have life experience
Use their experience in class.
Often have well established values and
Permit debate and challenge ideas, but
be firm in expectations
Want to be treated as adults
Acknowledge their opinions and
comments and questions, be clear that
they do not always have to agree with
Need self directed learning
Engage students in designing the
learning environment, suggest further
resources, when appropriate give
Like problem centered approaches
Show how their new knowledge and
skills can be applied
Like courses with applied information
Tie theory and concepts to applications
(2013) http://online.rit.edu/faculty/teaching_strategies/adult_learners.cfm
that they
canof use
Learn in many ways
Use a variety of teaching methods
Large Class Techniques
• The story
• The token system for discussion
• The class debate