The personal lecture: How to make big classes feel small

Posted on December 22nd, 2016

The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at ways that universities are transforming large lecture classes to make them feel more personal. In one example from the University of Texas at Austin, a small introductory psychology course uses lab exercises and pop quizzes and is broadcast to hundreds of other students who can tune in from wherever they are. Other professors point to strategies such as small breakout groups, hand-held clicker quizzes, and poster presentations. Windi D. Turner, an assistant professor at Utah State University, suggests that changes can be as simple as making an extra effort to connect with students on a more personal level. “If the student feels like he’s just a number and doesn’t feel a connection or purpose, he feels like he could slip away and the professor would never know,” Turner said.