Large Classes

These resources address challenges particular to large classes, and suggest ways that active and collaborative learning activities and diverse assessment methods can be implemented in courses with hundreds of students.


  1. Beating the Numbers Game: Effective Teaching in Large Classes (webpage) by Richard Felder, ASEE Annual Conference, Milwaukee (WI), 1997. Techniques for getting students actively involved in large lecture classes and for efficient management of the logistics of such classes.
  2. Getting started: Informal small-group strategies in large classes (article) by J.L. Cooper. (2000). The author suggests interspersing short discussions in a lecture to help students prepare, verify their understanding, or refocus. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 81(1).
  3. Large Classes: A Teaching Guide (webpage) by the Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Maryland. Links to a number of articles and resources focussing on enhancing learning in large classes.
  4. Preparing to Teach the Large Lecture Course (webpage) from Tools for TeachingBass: 1993. Provides suggestions for advance preparation and effective teaching strategies for large lecture courses; general references.
  5. Resources, tips and activities for large classes (webpage) from University of Texas, Austin.  Offers many links related to teaching large classes.  The resource presents video clips that capture key ideas.
  6. RCampus: Rubric Gallery. This website offers a wide variety of rubrics across different disciplines. Through the Public Gallery link, rubrics may be selected based on discipline, grade level or assessment type.
  7. Teaching Large Classes: 115 Ideas from 18 3M National Teaching Fellows (webpage) from the Council of 3M National Teaching Fellows. This collection of short videos of Fellowship recipients addresses many common topics that arise when teaching large classes, from navigating the physical classroom space, to connecting with students, to diversity and assessment. *Note that the videos do not load well in Internet Explorer, but do work in Mozilla Firefox.
  8. Assessing Large Classes (webpage) by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education.  Presents five assessment challenges created by large classes: 1) Avoiding assessment that encourages shallow learning; 2) Providing high quality, individual feedback; 3) Fairly assessing a diverse mix of students; 4) Managing the volume of marking and coordinating the staff involved in marking; 5) Avoiding plagiarism. This resource also suggests strategies for each issue.


  1. Angelo, T.A., & Cross, P.T. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques, A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers. McGill Library: LB2822.75 A54 1993 [Regular Loan] Humanities and Social Sciences - Education Collection (McLennan Bldg, 2nd floor)
  2. Fenwick, T., & Parsons, J. (2000). The art of evaluation: A handbook for educators and trainers. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. McGill Library: LB3051 F46 1999 [Regular Loan] Humanities and Social Sciences - Education Collection (McLennan Bldg, 2nd floor)
  3. MacGregor, J., et al. (2000). Strategies for energizing large classes: From small groups to learning communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. McGill Library:
  4. Weimer, M.G. (1987). Teaching large classes well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. McGill Library: LB1738 T42 1987 [Regular Loan] Humanities and Social Sciences - Education Collection (McLennan Bldg, 2nd floor)

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