Engaging Students in Large Classes
Because the number of large lecture classes that students are obliged to take appears likely to grow, this Academic Plan seeks to convert this challenge into an opportunity to re-engineer large classes, including advances in technology, to create increasingly student-centered and more intellectually stimulating learning.
Reach Carolina (p. 7)
CFE Large Course Redesign Initiative
The CFE Large Course Redesign initiative features a variety of services designed to support faculty members teaching large course sections or courses with multiple sections that represent large enrollments.
The Center for Faculty Excellence recognizes that instructors interested in improving their large class experiences will approach the challenge from different perspectives. For example, some may be teaching a large class for the first time, while others may be ready to undertake a complete redesign of a large course they have been teaching for some time.
Descriptions and contact information for each of the services associated with the Large Course Redesign initiative can be found below. We look forward to hearing from you!
Large Course Redesign Grants
This small grants program is for faculty members/academic units who want to make significant changes to one or more large course sections. The annual call for proposals is announced in late November/early December.
Faculty Peer Visits Program
The Faculty Peer Visits Program provides faculty members with an opportunity to see peers implementing interactive methods in a live classroom setting. Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines are participating. The program was developed in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Education.
Large Classes Resources Collection
Find out how UNC faculty members have approached redesigning their courses and what they have learned. The collection includes teaching tips, video interviews with faculty members, project reports, a selected bibliography, and a new resource on “flipping” the classroom.
Get Started with a Personal Consultation
CFE staff are available to meet individually with faculty members to discuss options for addressing course goals and challenges. Implementing just one new technique in a large class is often a great way to get started.
Classroom Response Systems
Classroom response systems are being used effectively by many Carolina instructors to break up lectures and to solicit the active participation of students during class. Some systems use dedicated handsets known as “clickers”, while others, such as Poll Everywhere, allow students to use their cell phones or laptops to respond. The CFE offers free Poll Everywhere accounts as well as consultations on best practices for using class response systems.
Presentation Capture/Mini-Lecture Recording
Some faculty members are recording presentations or mini-lectures and making them available to students for review outside of class, freeing up classroom time to engage students in higher-order learning activities. Several no- to low-cost solutions for creating web-based mini-lectures are available to UNC faculty members.
To LEARN MORE, contact Matt Osment (email@example.com).
Assessing Your Course Redesign
The CFE is available help faculty members assess the effectiveness of changes they have made to a large class. Assessment has been a hallmark of the Center’s large course redesign support since 2010. Support for this kind of assessment is now available through new CFE programming for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Learn more about instruments and assessment resources that faculty members can adopt on their own to supplement the University’s standard course evaluation.