The large introductory lecture classes common on most campuses pose a particular challenge to instructors who want to encourage the active student involvement that is a vital part of the learning process. This much-needed volume shows how instructors can energize students in these courses through the innovative use of small-group teaching strategies and new curricular structures. They provide detailed descriptions of both informal turn-to-your-neighbor activities and more formal and intensive small group approaches that have succeeded in making students more active and engaged learners. They also examine efforts to give students in large classes a greater sense of belonging to a community of learners through such techniques as intensive supplemental workshops and clustering multipleclasses, and provide answers to frequently asked questions about using small-group learning in large group settings.This is the 81st issue of the quarterly journal "New Directions For Teaching and Learning".
About the Author
JEAN MACGREGOR directs a FIPSE-funded National Communities Dissemination Project at The Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education at the Evergreen State College. She also teaches in the master's of environmental studies program at Evergreen
JAMES L. COOPER is coordinator of the teaching curriculum master's program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He recently stepped down as editor of the Cooperative Learning and College Teaching newsletter, which he founded with a FIPSE grant awarded to him from 1990-1993.
KARL A. SMITH is Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches modeling, engineering systems, and project management. He has a split appointment with Michigan State University, where he does faculty development work.
PAMELA ROBINSON teaches courses in research methods and social cultural issues in the graduate education department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She has served as asociate editor of the Cooperative Learning and College Teacher newsletter for the past eight years.
Table of Contents
1. The Argument for Making Large Classes Seem Small. (James L. Cooper)
2. Getting Started: Informal Small-Group Strategies in Large Classes. (James L. Cooper, Pamela Robinson)
3. Going Deeper: Formal Small-Group Learning in Large Classes. (Karl A. Smith)
4. Restructuring Large Classes to Create Communities of Learners. (Jean MacGregor )
5. Implementing Small-Group Instructions: Insights from Successful Practitioners. (James L. Cooper, Jean MacGregor, Karl A Smith, Pamela Robinson)
6. Making Small-Group Learning and Learning Communities a Widespread Reality. (Karl A. Smith, Jean MacGregor)