Challenges of teaching in large classes
The research of McInnis et al. (1995, 2000) into the first-year student experience across Australia suggests that students, particularly in their first year of study, need to:
- understand what's expected of them at University in terms of thinking and writing (academic integration)
- have a sense of purpose (goal orientation)
- identify with the institution they study at (academic identification) and
- experience a sense of belonging in the community of the institution (social integration).
In a larger class, students are less likely to understand what is expected of them and more likely to feel socially isolated. This may lead them to adopt a surface approach to learning, rather than attempting to develop a meaningful understanding, or deep approach, to the subject content.