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Tips and Methods for Teaching in Large Group Settings

This handout was developed as a collection of tips and methods for teaching in large group settings from Dr. Lamberski's teaching mentorship graduate class presentations.

Charismatic/Entertaining

  1. Use humor to entertain students now and then; at least be happy!
  2. Show enthusiasm toward the subject; be sure to be upbeat with positive energy.
  3. Move around the classroom rather than standing behind a podium for the entire class period.
  4. Make eye contact with the students; make them feel you see them as individuals.
  5. Greet students upon entering and leaving the classroom if you can.

Examples/Storytelling

  1. Use attention-grabbing stories to make the topic come to life and be remembered.
  2. Use analogies and metaphors so that students can associate the new information to things they already know.
  3. Begin the lecture with the purpose of the lecture and review (placing today’s subject matter in context).

Syllabus/Organization

  1. Provide students with a detailed syllabus so they can use it as a reference throughout the semester; it is and should be a contract between students and professors.
  2. Make sure evaluation parameters are included (dates are optional in my opinion).
  3. Teach only what is needed (“nice to know” or “need to know”).
  4. Include many points or milestones of evaluation (a portfolio).

Multimedia/Visuals/Support Materials

  1. Use audio, videos, photos, etc. to reinforce your lecturing.
  2. About every ten to fifteen minutes, if possible, do some sort of activity or use a form of multimedia to keep the students interested if it lends to the content.

Questions/Engaging

  1. Encourage students to ask questions if they are not clear about something; listen as well as talk.
  2. Every so often ask, “Does anyone have any questions?” or pose a reflective question.
  3. Give students time to discuss any questions they may have with their classmates if possible.
  4. Break class into small groups; buddy system.
  5. I do not feel that note taking is necessary in most classes; provide study guides and let them listen.
  6. Be willing to meet as an advisor on class content and career.

Testing/Evaluation

  1. If possible, give many tests online, and allow students to take the same test a few times. This will encourage students to read the information while trying to find the answers rather than cramming the night before. This also “chunks” the content.
  2. As difficulty of content increases, allow for feedback and revision for subject material.

Flexibility/Motivation

  1. Do not be afraid to admit errors; show compassion.
  2. With class input, allow for mid-course changes; willingness to be open-minded.
  3. Offer incentives (extra credit).
  4. Challenge students at all levels of respective intelligence.
  5. Give students confidence; perception as a friend before educator.

My appreciation to Sara Lamberson IUP ’09 and Caitlin Hamryszak IUP ’10, research associates while at IUP, for compiling these pointers from many internal graduate presentations.

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