Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Class Size" - Sampling vs. Covering: Dangerous Discussion/Clothing the Emperor

"Class size" has long been a Dangerous Discussions Issue, but now more than ever. Pressures to increase class size, especially in online or hybrid/blended courses, are growing - just when many faculty members already feel overloaded. Many people are still only beginning to learn how new educational uses of technology can support different ways of teaching and learning and different class sizes. Opportunities to discuss the implications of these new options openly, civilly and constructively are all too rare.

For info about TLT Group's next Online Workshop about this topic - November 2, 9 and 16, 2006, see below and:

Powerful principle: Sampling vs. Covering

Most effective learning and teaching happens somewhere between

Every teacher makes sampling decisions about almost every aspect of teaching and learning: selecting a group of topics, a group of students' responses, some portions of students' work, some individual students, etc. to deal with as a meaningful representative of the full collection of such items or people. For example, during a traditional classroom discussion, a teacher may invite only a few students to respond to a few questions about a reading assignment that was to be completed in preparation for the class.

Traditionally this has applied primarily to choices about topics to be covered in assigned readings, discussions, laboratory work, and classroom presentations within a course. However, educational conditions are changing so that teachers and learners have many more choices about what, how, and when to learn and to teach - and about what, how, and when to interact with each other. The sampling decisions have become more important and more dangerous to leave to old habits and assumptions that may no longer apply.

For more on this topic, this excerpt is from:

Class Size Online Workshop
Thursdays, November 2, 9 and 16, 2006 3:00 - 4:00 pm EDT
Leaders: Cynthia Russell, University of Tennessee Health Sciences, and John Sener, Sener Learning Services

To see more about what we'll be discussing and our two guest leader/presenters, visit:

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