Large classes present special teaching challenges and opportunities. In particular, it is often difficult to know how the course is "playing out" with the students: getting them to talk to you (inside or outside of class) can be difficult, reading the sea of faces often produces only vague notions about student understanding, and your success in conveying material may not be adequately reflected by their responses to graded assignments.
The Teaching Resource Center offers a variety of alternatives for those who wish to receive feedback about what they are doing well and about what improvements they can make.
Analysis Poll: While TRC staff regularly conduct TAPs for classes of 50 or fewer, it is also possible to perform TAPs for larger classes. Special arrangements may need to be made, however, to accommodate classes with enrollments over 50. Please contact the TRC to learn more about TAPs in general or to discuss arrangements for conducting a TAP in a large class. The TAP provides an excellent tool for gauging what students, as a group, find helpful and what hinders their ability to learn.
Videotape Analysis: A TRC staff member can videotape a class presentation of your choice and then consult with you about your teaching. You are encouraged to direct the discussion toward those issues that most interest you. Those interested in assessing their lecturing style often find this format helpful.
In-class Observation: You can invite a TRC staff member to watch a class presentation and offer observations that instructors, especially in large classes, often find helpful. You are welcome to direct the observer's attention to issues you find most pressing.
Electronic Feedback: Through UVaCollab, you can set up a web-based electronic feedback form that allows students to comment and ask questions throughout the semester. It is possible to set up the system to ensure student anonymity. Many who have used this find it an invaluable feedback tool, especially in keeping the pulse of large classes.
Made-to-order Feedback Instruments: The TRC can help you design a personalized program to assess "how things are going." Incorporating into your course such opportunities to gather input does not require you to give up appreciable amounts of class time or destroy the integrity of your syllabus.
To schedule a consultation, submit your request online at any time during the semester. The number of consultations we conduct is limited and filled on a first-come first-served basis. N.B. TAPs are only conducted between the fourth and ninth weeks of the semester.
If you have questions, please call us at 982-2815 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.