Inaugural Post: Top Ten Teaching Tips for Teaching Large Classes!

Our first blog post to launch the UTA Faculty Development Dialogue Blog is on teaching large classes! As class sizes increase and faculty are teaching more students, it is vital to share ideas on “what works” when facilitating learning in larger classes.

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“Top Ten Teaching Tips for Teaching Large Classes”

by Peggy Semingson, Ph.D., (peggys@uta.edu), Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, The University of Texas at Arlington

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The blogger and her dog.

Free e-book-Success with Teaching Large Online Courses
https://uta.box.com/s/kbagh2n22znm756ox6lboutnsk5l9gqp

1. Course design and syllabus. Before the course begins, make sure there is no ambiguity in the course syllabus. This includes typos or inconsistencies. It’s worth the extra time spent proofreading!

2. Keep the class active and interactive. There are many ways to do this in both low-tech (“Turn and talk”) and high-tech (social media; blogging; webinar, etc.) ways. Resource: http://teaching.uncc.edu/learning-resources/articles-books/best-practice/large-classes/large-class-handbook 

3. Consider using Just-in-Time teaching such as warm-ups, exit tickets (digital or paper) and short puzzle-like applications. Resource: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/just-in-time-teaching-jitt/

4. Create or locate short videos for explaining tricky concepts so students can review them multiple times (video; audio, screencast are all good options).

5. Use lots of visuals when sending communications via email, Blackboard, etc. Don’t fear redundancy in sending multiple messages. Resource: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/distance-learning/teaching-large-classes-online/

6. Online large classes: Create a FAQ page (Frequently Asked Questions) where you put the questions and answers for what students typically ask. Resource: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/distance-learning/teaching-large-classes-online/

7. Create tutorials for the concepts and processes that students often stumble on or are more novice at. Consider sharing these resources across courses. Example tools: Office Mix (PowerPoint add-on),  YouTube video, or a screencast.

8. Create a course orientation module that includes things like how to be a successful student, how to manage time, an overview of basic course concepts, an overview of the textbooks, etc.

9. Consider making an interactive syllabus or a visual course syllabus. This visual syllabus is shared courtesy of Jenny Roye from the College of Nursing and Health Innovations at UT Arlington. Example: http://roye.populr.me/nurs-4431–nursing-care-of-children-and-adolescents

10. Consider having a question-and-answer board on Blackboard where students can post questions.

Dialogue: What are your ideas for teaching large online classes?