Learning and Teaching in Large Classes

Students learn most when the learning experience is challenging, interesting, relevant, engaging and/or fun.

  • A large class can be viewed like a big city; people can feel connected if the city has some personality and a smaller 'village' to belong to.
  • Planning is often a key to making large classes fun to teach and an exciting place to learn in.
  • Creating a cohesive teaching team of tutors and lecturers makes large class teaching more manageable and enjoyable.


Students often feel lost in a large class, particularly in their first year. The opportunities for asking questions, getting feedback and making friends may seem limited. Feeling isolated and alone hinders learning.

Lecturing to a largely anonymous class is a poor return of investment in time and energy for teaching staff.


  • Set up regular meetings with your teaching team throughout the semester to work together on problems as they arise and planning for the next steps.
  • Planning each lecture to include some interactivity helps students to feel connected with each other and the content.
  • Introduce multiple feedback opportunities through peers, self evaluation, tutorials, and assignments.
  • Evaluate frequently through informal channels and asking for formal feedback from students.