Teaching skill, course design matter more than class size, report finds

December 7, 2011

If university class size matters, skill and competency of the instructor, teaching approaches, and course design probably matter more, observes new research from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario on efforts to deal with the challenges of maintaining teaching and learning quality in large classes. Given the projected demand for higher education in Ontario, particularly for undergraduate education, it is likely that large university classes and associated challenges are here to stay, the report notes. Although fiscal constraints may have led to larger classes, effective teaching methods are not necessarily less costly in terms of resources; employing technology and examining new teaching approaches require substantial investments of time and money, as well as rigorous evaluation. The research findings indicate that "the challenges involved in teaching large university classes can be overcome with appropriate vision, support and cooperation of institutions, faculty and students." Research Summary | Full Report