Part of the 4TU.Federation
4TU.
Centre for
Engineering Education

Teaching Large Groups

Project added: 28/01/2020

Project introduction and background information

Wageningen University’s Board of Education acknowledges the growing concerns that teachers have of teaching larger groups and continuing to maintain the quality of education provided to students. WUR has plans to invest in more staff, facilities and infrastructure to cope with this issue. However, these measures will take time to be implemented. Thus, there is a need for a solution in the current situation – which is to look for ways to handle large groups of students without compromising the quality of education. As such, the Dean of Education requested an inquiry into what is currently known about teaching and assessing large groups of students.

Objective and expected outcomes

The overall objective of the project is to find out what is currently known about teaching and assessing large groups of students. The question that we aim to answer with our report is “How to deal with large student groups (in terms of teaching and assessment)?” as well as to provide inspiration to teachers and management to deal with this issue at hand.  

Results and learnings

This report includes many examples that are tried and tested by teachers/lecturers all over the world. It also includes an inspiration list of links to a variety of methods and suggestions to deal with different aspects of teaching large groups (e.g. keeping students engaged in class, use of ICT, assessment, logistics of large groups).

Recommendations

There is no one-sized-fits-all solution to this issue at hand. With teaching large groups, there are many variables involved, from lecturer’s style, to the type of class, to even the subject being taught and the students in the classroom. All these aspects differ from course to course. As such, it is up to the teachers to explore the methods that they would like to try out and that they would eventually feel comfortable with to implement in their course(s). This will take time and effort.

This document serves to provide suggestions and strategies on dealing with teaching large groups. It must also be noted that policy-makers and the program committees should provide help and support to their teachers. It is perhaps also an idea to create platforms for teachers and management to come together to share their own experiences, best practices and provide support to one another.

Practical outcomes

The attached report contains an overview of methods tried and tested by educators from all over the world, as well as an inspiration list of links to recommendations for dealing with different aspects of teaching large groups.