iTeach Instructional Resources

Teaching Tips: Personalize the Large Classroom

General Strategies Close the Distance Gap Create a Sense of
Make the Large, Small Monitoring Progress

General Strategies

  • Research shows that breaking down the walls of anonymity promotes learning.
  • Be flexible with your class plan and allow the serendipitous to occur.
  • Make the space small (see "Make the Large, Small" tip).
  • Let your personality and interests come through the lecture.

Close the the Distance Gap

  • Move away from the podium and engage students close up.
  • Arrive early to chat with students in class.
  • Seek out students who are doing poorly and ask them to meet with you during office hours.
  • Solicit email questions from students and use them in class to foster discussions.

Create a  Sense of Community

  • Encourage your students to get to know one another
  • On the first day of class have your students introduce themselves to the person next to them.
  • Learn the names of some students and refer to them by name in class.
  • Ask the students to create a short autobiographical sketch within an iLearn blog or wiki.

Make the Large, Small

  • Break the classroom up into segments and devote a part of your lecture to each section of the room.
  • Teach to one section for a period of time, then move on to a different section. The students will feel that they are getting individual attention, and you will feel like you are teaching to a smaller class.

Monitoring Student's Progress

  • Ask questions during the course of the lecture.
  • Using clickers to do a quick poll is a great way to break up the class time and to gauge your students' level of understanding.
  • Ask your TAs for progress reports and use them in class to discuss topics that students are struggling with.
  • Use frequent quizzes and two or more mid-terms so you have multiple assessment points.
  • Gather feedback in the nature of a diagnostic quiz.

More Information

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