Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Psychology




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Darlaston-Jones, D. K., & Cohen, L. (2003). Using a student centred approach in a large class context. Proceedings of 12th Teaching and Learning forum 2003. (pp. 6 pages). Joondalup, WA. Professional Development@Learning Development Services, Edith Cowan University. Conference website available here.


Teaching large classes has become a reality for most courses in Australian universities. While many academics recognise the benefits to students and themselves of using alternative teaching methodologies, many resort to the traditional formal lecture approach when it comes to teaching large classes. This paper examines the tension between providing a meaningful learning experience for university students and the constraints of increased class sizes. Presented as a case study, it challenges the assumptions of staff and students in terms of what constitutes an appropriate learning environment and identifies strategies that could usefully be transferred from a small class to a large class context. The unit presented as the case study was co-ordinated by the first author with the support and guidance of the second author. Sections of the paper are written in the first person and it is the voice of the first author as she discusses her personal experience of, and response to, the challenge of using small class strategies within the context of a large class.

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