Allen Lok Fun Luen
Posted date: Tue Jul 05 08:00:00 SGT 2016 Tue Jul 05 08:00:00 SGT 2016
Classroom Management and Instructional Delivery for Large Groups - An Overview of Strategies in Institutes of Higher Learning
- Large space - Lectures usually take place in a large room/lecture theatre, and interaction does not feel personal because the instructor is so far away. Tight rows also make group discussions rather difficult.
- Isolation - Lectures are usually full of people, perhaps with many strangers around, creating a sense for students that what they say and do doesn’t really matter, leading them to care less about seemingly small distractions (i.e. like talking to a neighbour, reading a newspaper/magazine or texting/playing games on the phone), and creating an inhibition about participating in front of a large audience.
- Group size - The sheer number of students makes discussion during a regular lecture that includes everyone (or everyone willing to chime in) almost near to impossible.
- Sage on the stage - The instructor appears impersonal, remote and inaccessible. The communication gap between the students and the instructor feels (and may be) very real.
- Theatre setting - A seating arrangement that feels more like a theatre than a class induces student passivity
- Decide what content to cover and set broad goals well in advance. Make sure to make estimates for how long it will take to cover the lecture material and then increase estimates by 50 percent to allow for students to ask questions.
- Organise the topics in a sequence that makes sense both to the instructor and the students.
- Describe how the course is organised in the syllabus.
- Prepare different types of lectures to suit the course content and keep the students interested. For example, one day conduct a simple expository lecture that describes a topic with hierarchical minor and major points and the next day provide a case study lecture that uses real-life cases to examine specific topics.
- Create a clear syllabus with both the course structure and the expectations of the students.
- Spend some time at the end of the class talking to students. Maybe even end class a few minutes early so that there is enough time for students to come and ask individual questions.
- Make an effort to call students by their names. Because it can be difficult to remember the names of everybody in a large class. Consider having students place cards with their names on their desks.
- Walk around during class to make the students feel more connected.
- Have the students fill out a “student profile” on the first day detailing their personal interests.
- Frequently remind students that they are always more than welcome to come to meet instructors during office hours.
- Facilitate Class Discussion - Facilitate discussion by polling students’ opinions and discussing the reasons for their opinions.
- Guide Lectures - Collect immediate feedback about students’ understanding of lecture topics so confusion can be addressed quickly.
- Encourage Peer Instruction - Allow students to share, discuss, and change their opinions before answering a question.
- Collect Data and Perform Formative Assessment - Collect data on course topics or learning preferences throughout the cycle of a course.
- Offer Quizzes - Decrease grading time by using clickers to collect student answers to quizzes.
- Take Attendance - Record attendance in large lecture classes.
- Aagard, H., Bowen,K., and Olesova, L (2010). Hotseat: Opening the Backchannel in Large Lectures. Educause Quarterly, 33, p.3.
- Allen, D. and Tanner, K (2005). Infusing Active Learning into the Large-enrollment Biology Class: Seven Strategies, from the Simple to Complex. Cell Biology Education 4(4), p.262.
- Caldwell, J. (2007). Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best- Practice Tips. CBE Life Sciences Education, 6:1, pp.9-20
- George Washington University, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (n.d). Teaching Large Undergraduate Classes: A Guide for Faculty and Teaching Assistants [online]. Available from: <http://citl.gwu.edu/pdf/LargeClasses.pdf>. [Accessed 04 May 2014]
- Gross Davis, B (1993). Tools for Teaching, San Francisco: Jossey- Bass Publishers
- University of Maryland (n.d). Large Classes: A Teaching Guide [online]. Available from: <http://www.cte.umd.edu/library/ teachingLargeClass/guide/preface.html>. [Accessed 04 May 2014]
- University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Center for Teaching (2000). A Survival Handbook for Teaching Large Classes [online]. Available from: <http://teaching.uncc.edu/resources/ best-practice-articles/large-classes/handbooklarge- classes>. [Accessed 04 May 2014]
- The Ohio State University, Learning Technology (n.d). Clickers [online]. Available from: <http://lt.osu.edu/resourcesclickers/>. [Accessed 04 May 2014].
- The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (2010). Classroom Response Systems: Major Manufacturers [online]. Available from: <http://serc.carleton.edu/econ/classresponse/manufacturers.html>. [Accessed 04 May 2014]
Article contributor: Allen Lok
Category: Literature review