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Teaching Institutes | Storrs 2010

Teaching, Learning, Innovation and (Even) Enjoyment in Large Classes!

On Friday, January 15th, 2010, the Institute for Teaching & Learning welcomes you to a day of teaching and learning workshops. We look forward to lively discussions and the opportunity to share ideas.

Agenda Presenters Register


8:30 - 9:00 Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) 122

Check-in, pick up packets and name-tags at registration desk

Session 1 - 9:00 - 10:15
"Strategies for Motivating and Connecting with Students in Large Lecture Classes"

Richard Kochanek
Accounting 2001

Dick Kochanek has been a faculty member at UConn since 1972. For the past 7 years, he has taught the Intro Financial Accounting course (ACCT 2001) for about 450-600 students per semester in two large lecture sections (225-300 students). This course is taught in two 75-minute lecture sessions per week with no discussion sections. It is open to all students within the University. Topics addressed in Dick’s session will include: course outline design, examination format, bonus point assignments, extra help through the use of teaching assistants, classroom motivation techniques, student feedback hints, make up exam policies, homework, supporting website information, and course grade assignment issues.

Follow Up Questions & Answers

Session II - 10:30 - 11:45
"Engaging the large class: How to Blend Cooperation and Control to Achieve the Best Learning Outcomes"
Session II - 10:30 - 11:45
"HuskyCT Tools and Applications Popular with Large Classes"

 Adam Fry, Biology

This presentation (workshop) will focus on the presenter's methods for creating a cooperative learning environment between instructor and students, and for controlling the flow of information in a large classroom. Taken together, these methods allow the instructor to create a learning environment that is viewed by students as rigorous, fair, and effective.
Learning Outcomes:  
1) Participants will learn how to reach all students in their classrooms by controlling the flow of information.
2) Participants will discuss strategies for convincing students that you are working with them (cooperating), not against them.
3) Participants will discuss methods for eliminating review sessions, practice questions, and practice exams while still preparing the students for classroom assessments and averting the classroom revolt.


Janet Jordan, Instructional Resource Center

HuskyCT has a lot to offer instructors and students with large classes.  Come learn about the communication tools, assignment tool, assessments tool, the Grade Book, My Grades, and the wide range of options for posting material. Hear from other instructors about how they use HuskyCT and why it’s beneficial.

LUNCH - 11:45 - 12:45 Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) Atrium
Session III - 12:45 - 2:00
"Pedagogy Through Technology
Session III - 12:45 - 2:00
"Clickers in the Classroom"

Amit Savkar, Math

Over the last few years there has been shift in class size of courses that are required for most of the majors at the University of Connecticut. These sizes have gone from a 32 students per classroom to over 180 students in each classroom. Clearly this shift in the class size has made it more challenging to reach the in-class student population. The current workshop will focus on some of the effective means of teaching practices in large lecture settings using various technological tools. Primarily it will include topics such as effective use of document camera and power point to teach in large lectures, using clickers as an effective means of class communication and learning assessment, using Blackboard (husky CT) for discussion groups etc. This workshop will also briefly address the issue of student feedback and the pitfalls of some of the technological tools.


Steve McDermott, Instructional Consultant

Classroom Performance Systems or clickers are the technology that allows instructors to poll students during class. Students register their responses using a TV remote type device that gives the instructor real time feedback which may also be shared with the class as a histogram. Close to 4,000 clickers are in use at UConn registering opinions, gauging understanding, quizzing, recording attendance, testing and more.  Results can be viewed and discussed or uploaded to HuskyCT Gradebook.  Is this technology for you? Find out in this hands-on session.

Session IV - 2:15 - 3:30
"Successful teaching and learning in a large class environment can be improved when we hear from, and respond to, the students"

Keith Barker, Director ITL

This presentation will consider the holistic view of education in a large classroom. Both teacher and learner need to be aware of the environment and react according to good pedagogical principles. We will hear from effective faculty teachers and a range of students about their prior expectations of large classes and large class challenges.

Closing Discussion and Book Raffle: 3:30-4:00

What questions do you still have?  What did you hear about today that you might want more information on? Come and brainstorm with your peers and with the ITL staff to take your next step into successfully teaching large classes!


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Center for Undergraduate Education
386 Fairfield Way, Unit 2142
Storrs, CT 06269-2142
Ph: 860-486-2686 Fax: 860-486-5724