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ERIC Number: EJ1098725
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1479-4403
IT Worked for Us: Online Strategies to Facilitate Learning in Large (Undergraduate) Classes
Greyling, F.; Kara, M.; Makka, A.; van Niekerk, S.
Electronic Journal of e-Learning, v6 n3 p179-188 2008
Higher education institutions are compelled to accommodate growing class sizes as student numbers have increased over time, especially at undergraduate level. Good teaching principles are relevant to all class sizes. For example, teachers of all classes are required to create safe learning environments, motivate and engage students, interact with students, provide stimulating assessment tasks and give prompt feedback. However, meeting these requirements in the context of large classes is more challenging. As a result, traditional large class teaching methods are often characterised by the passive absorption of material, which is not ideal. What constitutes a large class? Class sizes of 60 or more have been considered large. In this paper, we report on online teaching, learning and assessment strategies for classes made up of approximately 600 first year students in Business Management 1 offered at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of this ongoing research project is to integrate educational technologies in the classroom and study the impact of these classroom changes on the students' learning experience. The programme, which blends face-to-face teaching, paper-based teaching materials and online learning by means of WebCT/Blackboard tools, is now in its second cycle of implementation. This teaching strategy aims at greater lecturer-student interaction, engaging students with the course materials on a regular basis and eliciting feedback from students, which is used to re-teach concepts that the students find particularly difficult. The blended learning strategy resulted in enhanced student perceptions of the quality of teaching and learning, and a significant improvement in student throughput. The findings and recommendations reported in the paper are based on student feedback, gleaned through online surveys, online artefacts created by students and lecturers' classroom experiences. Although the authors report on online teaching, learning and assessment practices that proved to be effective in large classes, many conclusions may be of relevance to smaller classes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A