Effective teaching in universities: are students' basic needs being satisfied in large classes?
Hall, John, Binney, Wayne and Kennedy, Wendy 2006, Effective teaching in universities: are students' basic needs being satisfied in large classes?, International journal of learning, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 309-318.
In a quest for a more efficient education system, many organizations have opted to increase class size. It is a common perception that large subjects are economical to run and small subjects are not. Many in the tertiary education system have had concerns with issues involved in the teaching of large classes, including teaching quality and whether there are effective learning outcomes for students. As with any complex issue, there are several approaches that could be utilized to assess whether the needs of stakeholders are being met. Stakeholders include the institution, the teaching staff the community and the students. This study aims to assess whether universities are satisfying the needs of students as class size is increased The study focuses on satisfaction with large classes and includes an assessment of the satisfaction of students' psychological needs. These constructs are measured in small, medium and large classes to identify the change in the level of satisfaction. The study used a multi-method approach consisting of a literature review, a qualitative phase involving in depth interviews, focus groups, and a quantitative survey The results show that while customer satisfaction is being met, the satisfaction of students' psychological needs are not being fully realised. It was also found that there were notable variations between individual students, the subjects being studied and degree streams of students taking the same subject. The implications of these findings and suggestions for further investigation are discussed in this paper.
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