At the star-studded Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT) event earlier this month, where professors gathered to discuss innovative strategies for learning and teaching, Harvard’s professor Eric Mazur gave a talk on the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture. The idea is getting traction. Here’s more about the practice.
There is no one way to teach a large class. We have to take into account our teaching style, the characteristics of our students, and the goals and objectives of our course. This handbook is a cafeteria of ideas of how faculty members all over the country have tried to solve many of the problems related to teaching large classes. Decide which one or ones are most likely to work for you, and try them.
Actively engaging students in these classes is not easy but there are a few strategies that will allow you to break up your lecture, assess your student's understanding, and engage them in learning. The resources below are just a few of the techniques that have been used by other faculty teaching large classes.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a large course, however the challenges all instructors face in their regular size classrooms or online environments seems to be multiplied (literally and metaphorically) when larger numbers of students are involved.