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Teaching Large Group

Teaching Large Groups

lecturetheatrenew4 KLI staff are available to support colleagues with large group teaching. To discuss what types of support we can give please email

Staff Quick Guide

7 ways to engage students in lectures 7  ways to engage students in lectures (PDF, 80kb)

This guide is part of a series specifically catering for academic staff looking to enhance their teaching at King’s. The guides are research-based and have been drawn together by academics in the King's Learning Institute in collaboration with staff in relevant institutes and support services across King’s. Other guides can be found here.

The guides are updated throughout the academic year. If you have comments or additions you would like to submit, or if there is a guide that you think that would make a useful addition to this series, please contact Lauren Cracknell

Audience Response System

Poll Everywhere software is a simple Audience Response System application that enables you to engage with your class via real time online feedback. Students respond by accessing a web site on their own personal internet connected device (laptop, tablet or smartphone), by sending SMS (text) messages or by using Twitter. For further information on Poll Everywhere click here

To sign up to a 2 hour CPD workshop click here (this is through Skills Forge)

Technology Enhanced Lectures

CTEL also run a CPD session on Technology Enhanced Lectures

This session will present teaching practitioners with guidance on enriching the students’ experience and increasing learning and engagement by leveraging technology before, during and after a large group lecture.

After the session, participants will have gained:

  • Understanding of how to use learning technologies to support face to face lectures in a blended learning setting.
  • Developing their skills in planning and designing a large group session
To sign up to a 2 hour CPD workshop click here (this is through Skills Forge)

headingclassroomteaching3Flipped Learning

NTU’s scoop it site on flipped learning

University of Plymouth definition of flipped learning

Chrissi Nerantzi helpfully shared the following selection of resources on flipped learning:

Robert Talbert flipped learning environment - Flipping the University Mathematics Classroom


Team-Based Learning

Josie Fraser at Bradford is working on Team-based Learning and writes:

“TBL applies Larry Michaelsen’s very carefully developed principles (in the form of a rigid structure to activities) to avoid all the conventional problems with getting students to work in groups  - those problems that we have all encountered over the years! We have found it amazingly liberating. Although the “form” of TBL is very rigid and it takes a while to get your head around the structure/terminology, within that form you can be incredibly creative. There are a few books out there on Team-Based Learning, and a great website/list-serv in the form of the team-based learning collaborative (, though this is largely US-based.”

Simon Tweddell, also from Bradford, similarly wrote with this advice re team based learning:

It is a structured approach to flipped learning with preparation outside the classroom, a short individual and team assessment to motivate them to prepare with the majority of time dedicated to application of knowledge in teams using a structured framework. This involves creation, problem-solving, discussion in teams followed by wider whole-class justification, discussion and debate. More information attached and below (which is the following quote):

"Team-based Learning is a structured, student-centred learning and teaching strategy that takes a ‘flipped’ approach to learning. It is designed to promote active, engaging and sustainable learning through a process of preparation, testing and application of knowledge.  By regularly participating in team-based learning, students develop transferable skills that will develop their capabilities for the workplace, enhancing their employability.

Team-based learning dramatically shifts the focus of the classroom time away from content delivery by the teacher to the application of course content by student learning teams. At the start of the semester, students are allocated to a team of 5-7 students, creating teams made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different expertise and resources. Theses team members will work together on a regular basis for the entire semester or year."

The original book on this is:
Michaelsen, L. Knight, A. Fink, L. (eds) (2004) Team-based Learning: A Transformative Use of Small Groups in College Teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.


University of Nottingham Veterinary School video on teaching large groups using a visualiser and creating images for use in practical guides (cf our use of visualisers, on head cameras, teaching dvds and other support resources)

Learn higher resources to help students work in groups set of video clips

SCALE-UP at NTU, where large numbers of students can work collaboratively around tables in a technology-rich environment
active and co-operative learning

UCD report on strategies for small and large group teaching

Assessing Learning in Australian Universities report: Assessing Groupwork

Making Groups Work report by Jenny Moon
An informal suggestion from Peter Lake on strategies adopted within large groups, particularly by speakers for whom English is not their first language:  
“…one technique I picked up whilst teaching computing in China was the use of fellow students as first-port-of-call for queries about technical issues. It seemed to be a cultural thing… I was teaching a practical session in a room full of 100+ students (I normal have a max for these sessions of 20). At first I was extremely worried as they had not forewarned me of class size, but, without my prompting, it became apparent that every row had their own lead who was either better at English or at IT than the others and who was responsible for asking me for help should the row lead not be able to help themselves. When I asked teaching staff there, they said this was normal practice.”

Vincent Knight: Talks

Twilight of the Lecture - The trend toward “active learning” may overthrow the style of teaching that has ruled universities for 600 years.

Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics

'This is a really important article - the impression I get that it's almost unethical to be lecturing if you have this data. It's good to see such a cohesive picture emerging from their meta-analysis - an abundance of proof that lecturing is outmoded, outdated, and inefficient'. (Eric Mazur 2014)

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