Learninglab

How to engage students in large classes

Large classes is an important part of the BI business model. At the Bachelor level up to 670 students are in one class in the Finn Øien lecture hall. Also at the Master of Science we have some large classes. Here are some ideas for engaging students.

Buzz groups
An easy way to engage students is to let them discuss a question or case in small groups over a few minutes. You might let them think about the questions quietly first, before breaking into discussions. If you walk around while they discuss, you can get an impression of their understanding of the topic, and after the discussion you might want to correct misunderstandings. You choose whether you let some of the groups share their answers with the whole class, but it is not necessary.

Kahoot or Socrative
A much used tool at BI is Kahoot. In Kahoot you create a quiz before the lecture, and use this in the lecture. The students answer the quiz either on cell phones, tablets or laptops. With Kahoot you get an engaging competition in the lecture hall. It also gives the student the opportunity to check their knowledge on the topic and you some feedback on the level of understanding amongst the students. You can use it both to check the students' preknowledge of a subject, or at the end of a lecture to see what they understood from it. If you would like to ask questions without creating a competitive environment, you can use Socrative instead of Kahoot.

More ideas
Tor Haugnes, Nina Ronæs and Anne Swanberg have written a book of ideas on how to engage students in large classes. The book is only in Norwegian, and can be downloaded here.

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