Downsizing your classroom: 
Tips for making big classes seem small(er)

Prof. Tammy Long, Department of Plant Biology

11:30-1:30, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013


About the session:

It is a common misperception that large courses can only be managed through the use of didactic lectures and multiple-choice exams.  While we acknowledge that large-enrollment courses pose unique challenges for both teachers and learners, this session seeks to find innovative ways to make big classes seem smaller for both.  We will explore strategies for engaging students in active and cooperative learning and assessing students’ learning through the use of tools unencumbered by the confines of 5 options. Throughout, we will focus on how the tools that help us manage large classes can also serve to better inform us about our students’ progress in learning what we think we’re teaching.


About Tammy Long:

Tammy Long is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology.  She received her PhD in plant ecology at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for work that explored impacts of carbon enrichment on resource allocation strategies in plants.  At MSU, Long has led efforts to renovate introductory biology courses for Plant Biology, the Center for Integrative Studies in General Sciences, and the Biological Sciences Program.  Her current research is focused on better understanding how students develop conceptual understanding in biology.  In particular, her lab is interested in how students use models and visual representations to learn and reason about biological systems.

Video of the session

STEM November 2013 from ANR Communications MSU on Vimeo.


Other materials:

This article, based on K-12 data, may be of interest:

Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

November 18, 2013
by Michael Hansen

PowerPoint presentation and handouts from workshop:

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Nov 21, 2013, 7:32 AM
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Mark Urban-Lurain,
Nov 21, 2013, 7:32 AM
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Mark Urban-Lurain,
Nov 21, 2013, 7:32 AM
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Mark Urban-Lurain,
Nov 20, 2013, 11:59 AM