Complications & Connections
Complications: Some faculty may be slated to teach classes with 50+ students in a large lecture hall format. Transitioning this to online delivery presents very particular challenges, and reconstituting the course in a small class size may be impossible depending upon institutional constraints. We’ve collected resources here to help faculty facing this dilemma.
Connections to ACE: For faculty, the most important value in ACE to consider in these situations in Adaptability. Consider anything you can do to de-emphasize the larger lecture format in favor of sharing course content in other ways (perhaps through shorter videos, short narrated slide decks, or pointing to other online resources). Student Design & Choice might be worth exploring by polling students to see what methods of sharing content would be most useful for them and then switching up your plans based on their responses. Fostering a Classroom Community may also present new challenges and you might take this opportunity to think about what community should generally look like in a class of this size. Ultimately, while large lectures may be your go-to and comfort zone, this situation may be an opportunity to rethink your pedagogy a bit and flip the classroom, use small group discussions to advance through the work, or introduce project-based learning as an approach.
Resources for Large Courses
- An exploration into faculty perceptions of teaching high-enrollment online courses.
- National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment study: “Pedagogical Choices Make Large Classes Feel Small.”
- Quality Matters surveys the research on class size and online learning.
- These tips for designing and moderating large online courses also link to additional resources (at the bottom) on engagement strategies and grading.
- Arizona State is one of the largest online course deliverers in the U.S. This set of best practices also links to additional online teaching advice.