Large courses represent the vast majority of learning activities in higher education institutions around the world, where classrooms are crowded with students and teachers make their best efforts trying to accomplish the learning objectives. This educational context, along with the increased access to higher education in the past decade, has generated demands on the teaching-learning process. Consequently, research in the topic is needed to elucidate guidelines to improve university instruction. Recent initial findings of the research project “What do the best university teachers do in large courses? A multi-case study” report five crucial aspects to consider when planning a successful large group activity: student-teacher interaction, active learning strategies, classroom management, students’ motivation and commitment, and effective use of technology. Also, it has been concluded that there are five criteria that the best university teachers frequently use in their classes: ubiquitous interaction between student-teacher-student, the dynamic decision-making based on student learning achievement, use of examples originated from reality, promotion in the generation of networks of collaboration, and promotion of participation of students during class. To overcome the challenge of large courses, future research and innovations in large learning activities should be undertaken to evaluate their impact on students’ learning.
Part of the book: New Pedagogical Challenges in the 21st Century