Faculty Today

Interaction in large classes: One instructor’s strategies

Teaching a large class might feel daunting with respect to having opportunities for instructor-student and student-student interaction. But Sandra Hyde, a professor in McGill University’s Faculty of Arts who offers a course in Medical Anthropology, has found ways to bridge the distance between her and the now 300+ students who attend the course. 

“Over the years, I have also tried to make my large lecture hall shrink by trying to utilize different techniques to foster student based learning and most important, to create more interactive group problem solving and reduce the teacher as lord model of education.” 

Sandra has opted to implement low- or no-tech strategies, such as discussion sections after each learning module; “Wiz” questions at the end of lectures; and in-class debates – yes, even in her large class! See the course outline and read about how Sandra integrates the different strategies into her teaching. 

What strategies do you use to foster interaction in your large classes? 

Senior Academic Associate at McGill's Teaching and Learning Services.; former Senior Faculty Lecturer at the McGill Writing Centre; area of specialization: Second Language Education; loves teaching and learning; will work for chocolate (Photo credit: Owen Egan)

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