HEQCO survey examines universities' challenges in making large classes more engaging

April 18, 2011

Trying to make large classes more meaningful is a challenge more Ontario universities face: 14 of the province's 19 universities reported at least 30% of their first-year lectures last year had over 100 students, 5 more institutions than the year before, a Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario survey found. While large classes are not necessarily unmanageable, HEQCO's vice-president of research says "the larger the class, the more difficult it is for a teacher to get beyond the traditional lecture method and use techniques that promote deep learning, and if that doesn’t happen, the quality can start to deteriorate." The survey notes that larger classes bring more students with special needs to a setting already challenged by a generation considered to have a shorter attention span and less class decorum. ParentCentral.ca