Resources for Teaching Large Classes
General Information About Teaching Large ClassesTeaching Introductory Geoscience: Teaching Large Classes - This collection of pages contains a variety of information on teaching large classes, including active learning pedagogies for large classrooms and a browse of examples of introductory courses with 150 students or more.
Early Career - Teaching Large Classes - This page contains useful strategies and references about keeping students engaged, using technology and making it work for you, and getting groups to work well.
Teaching Urban Students - This collection of pages is part of the Cutting Edge and Pedagogy in Action projects and focuses on how to teach in urban environments, including how to handle large class sizes. The pages present information about how to effectively teach and engage students and example activities.
Assessment in Large Classes - Large classes pose a challenge for instructors who need to assess a large number of students in an efficient way. This page hosts a collection of SERC pages devoted to assessment strategies andexamples of how assessment is performed in the geosciences.
Effective Teaching Methods for Large ClassesPedagogy in Action - Interactive Lectures - It can be difficult to engage students with the material in a large lecture class. This collection of pages on Interactive Lectures has strategies and specific examples of activitiesto involve students in large and small lecture-based classes.
Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations - Interactive demonstrations can also be used in classes of all sizes, as projection systems can make demonstrations visible to students in the backs of large classrooms. In this module you can learn about how to illustrate conceptsand perhaps even entertain your class with simple demonstrations. There are several example demonstrations included.
Lecture Tutorials - Lecture Tutorials are short worksheets that students complete in class to make lecture more interactive and thus, they can be effective in teaching large classes. They are designed specifically to address misconceptions and other topics with which students have difficulties. This module provides basic information for what lecture tutorials are and hot they can be used in the classroom. References and examples are also provided.
ConcepTests - ConcepTests are conceptual multiple-choice questionsthat focus onone key concept of an instructor's learning goalsfor a lesson. When coupled with student interaction through clickers and peer instruction, ConcepTests represent a rapid method of formative assessment of student understanding and may be useful in assessing learning in large classrooms (especially when used with clickers). This module explains what ConcepTests are, how they are used, and provides references and examples of ConcepTests.
Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning - This page, part of Project Kaleidoscope, explains how and why process-oriented guided inquiry learning can be effective in large classrooms. Links to resources with more information are also provided.
Teaching Metacognition in Large Classes - These pages, by Perry Samson, explain why and how he teaches metacognitive skills in his large introductory classes.
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Research Podcast Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Using tools available in the Moodle course management software package and a range of freely available software, students research, create, record, and peer-evaluate podcasts on a geologic topic of their choosing.
Resource Type: Activities:Project
Rock and mineral laboratory exercises in large auditorium classes part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
These exercises provide an opportunity for students in large auditorium classes with "hands on" examination of typical rocks and minerals and their properties.
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity, Problem Set
Exploring Radiometric Dating with Dice part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity in which students use dice to explore radioactive decay and dating and make simple calculations.
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity:Short Activity:Demonstration
Toilet Paper Analogy for Geologic Time part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An in class demonstration of the vastness of geologic time using a 1000-roll sheet of toilet paper and unrolling it around the room.
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity
Minute Paper part of Cutting Edge:Student Learning: Observing and Assessing:Activities
Resource Type: Assessments:Written Report, Other Assessment Type, Assessments
Earth, Wind, and Fire Quiz part of Cutting Edge:Student Learning: Observing and Assessing:Activities
This is an example of one of the formative assessments I used while teaching labs for a geology class for non-science majors. Such quizzes were given at the start of each lab session.
Resource Type: Assessments:Exam, Assessments
Principles of Geology part of Quantitative Skills:Courses
Introductory Physical Geology with lab. Three 1-hour lectures per week plus one 2-hour lab per week (taught by TA's).
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Environment and the Earth Class part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Service Learning:Examples
The Environment and the Earth class at the University of South Carolina participated in a campus environmental service-learning project where students collected data lighting, water fixtures, recycling bins, and trash in five academic buildings.
Resource Type: Activities:Project:Service Learning, Activities, :Lab Activity, Course Information
Natural Hazards and Catastrophes part of Quantitative Skills:Courses
1 credit hour course for non-scientists, with no pre-requisites. Aims to improve quantitative and scientific literacy through applying simple skills to topics including global climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes ...
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
The Forecast Factory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This is a highly scripted role-playing exercise in which students act out the elements of the weather-forecasting process, from TV announcers to the continuity equation. -
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Project, Activities, :Lab Activity