The Century Club
Effectively Teaching Large Classes
Making Bigger, Better. This catchy phrase has been used to describe UNT's efforts at course redesign and support for large classes. The nature of teaching at a large university is that there will inevitably be a need to have large sections of students in certain disciplines and courses. 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.
How large is large? Well, there is no magic number here, but for the sake of delineation, we are designating sections with over 100 students as large - hence the name "Century Club". However, the tools, tips and resources listed here are applicable to courses of all sizes. What we are attempting to do is provide some resources and support for teaching and learning issues of scope, and scale. We've found it to be true that great educational ideas only work when they can be practically applied. For example, a well-crafted and deftly led classroom discussion and interaction between faculty and students which works well with 15 students does not translate to 300 students. So, these resources attempt to get at the principles behind activities then explore ideas for how to scale activities based on the principles. As an example, engagement, interaction, and meaningful assessment are wonderful principles upon which to base a course - with the Century Club resources and conversation we hope to share, and learn, effective ways to practically accomplish these kinds of things in large course environments.
What we hope to accomplish with your help:
- Collect and curate resources to support large course teaching
- Identify and generate meaningful research and inquiry into the topic
- Facilitate an ongoing conversation among the faculty who teach large courses (and the various units which work to support the classes) with the goal of creating effective teaching environments
If you want to join the conversation you can:
- Email Mike.Simmons@unt.edu with your interests and ideas
- Participate in one of our monthly brown bag conversations
- Take a look at our basic resource page (and be sure to share other sources and information that we could include!)