Tag: large courses


Providing Feedback in Large Courses

Students in large lecture

In a large course with limited TA assistance, it may seem impossible to offer students meaningful feedback on their progress. In this post, faculty members describe how they use office hours, technology, and TAs to provide appropriate feedback in their large courses. Office Hours Kim Caldwell: Some students come to my office truly wanting to learn how to learn, and we have great conversations about their current learning styles and look at what types of questions they are missing (basic knowledge vs. application). We also talk about study […]

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Mentoring Graduate Teaching Assistants

As the supervising faculty member, you have the opportunity to shape your graduate teaching assistants’ development as educators, as well as how they support your role as the professor. We asked several faculty members how they guide GTAs in managing the classroom, interacting with students, and otherwise balancing the pressures of teaching. Here’s what they had to say. Offer Guidance “My GTAs attend every lecture, and we meet as a group once a week to discuss course issues, assignments, and to problem-solve […]

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Teaching Complex Topics in Large Courses

A&S logo

by Kevin Shaughnessy, Department of Chemistry My large class assignments are organic chemistry, which is one of the more challenging lower-level courses that science and pre-health students will take. There is a large volume of material that is highly interconnected. My goals in the class are for them to not only know basic facts, but also be able to take what they’ve learned, evaluate problems, and come up with solutions based on concepts they’ve previously learned. They need to be able […]

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Engaging Students in Large Courses

Chris Lynn's anthropology course

If student learning depends on engagement, then it should be one of our top priorities in the classroom. But how do you foster interest, curiosity, and excitement in large courses for which the lecture is standard? Know Students’ Names Matthew Dolliver: I use a number of techniques to help keep students engaged. First, knowing students’ names draws them directly into the discussion/lecture portion and can be very helpful. I have also found it very useful to let students know that they will […]

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Altman Teaches Intro Course with Twitter

Twitter feed from Mike Altman's class

by Jessica Porter, Office of Educational Technology (eTech) Michael Altman, an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, explains how he incorporated Twitter in his large, 150-student Introduction to Religious Studies course, and he offers advice for those considering using Twitter in their own courses. What were you goals for using Twitter? I was trying to find a way to shrink the feel of the class. I thought that if I could find a lot of ways for students to interact or […]

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