ERIC Number: ED421026
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Quality Education: Does Class Size Matter?
CSSHE Professional File, n14 Win 1995
This paper reviews the research on the effects of class size on educational quality in higher education, and discusses the characteristics of the students and kinds of course organization that facilitate effective large-class teaching. It notes that while early research found that class size mattered, newer studies have shown that factors other than class size are more important to educational quality. Studies of teaching effectiveness have found that course organization and instructor practices are more important than class size in producing positive student outcomes. The paper states that instructor competency, concern for students, energy level, speaking ability, organization, and clarity are the factors that help students learn in large classes. It also argues that student involvement and personal contact between the professor and the students make a significant difference in learning outcomes, and that this can be encouraged through brainstorming sessions, asking questions and encouraging dialogue, dividing the class into smaller task-oriented groups, facilitating problem solving and critical thinking skills by starting class with a puzzle or problem, and class debates, simulations, and role playing. (Contains 18 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Class Size, College Faculty, College Instruction, Competence, Course Organization, Educational Quality, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Outcomes of Education, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, 320-350 rue Albert St., Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1, Canada; phone: 613-563-1236; fax: 613-563-7739.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education.