File(s) under permanent embargo

An investigation of scale economies and quality issues in the teaching and management of large subjects

conference contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Hall, Wendy Kennedy, H Madden-Hallett, Wayne Binney
Many in the tertiary education system have had concerns with the issues surrounding the teaching of large classes, including teaching quality and whether there are effective learning outcomes for students. An issue closely related to quality is the cost of providing an efficacious education system. It is a common perception that large classes are economical to run and small subjects are not. As with any complex issue there are several perspectives that could be utilised, the needs of the institution, the teaching staff, the community or the students, and whether or not these needs are being met.

This study aims to assess whether universities are meeting the needs of students in large marketing classes. For this purpose the study investigates the application of selfdetermination theory and psychological needs satisfaction. The basic needs scale, comprising of three constructs; Control, Competence and Caring was adapted and used to evaluate students' perception of an introductory marketing subject.

The study used a multi-method approach consisting of a literature review, a qualitative phase involving in-depth interviews and focus groups. A survey of 366 students who had undertaken an introductory level marketing subject in a large class format was also conducted. The results show that the psychological needs satisfaction of many students are not being fully realised. It was also found that marketing degree students enjoyed the challenges and were more stimulated by the subject (than students in other degree streams). The higher achieving students enjoyed the challenge of the subject more than the lower achieving students. The implications of these findings and suggestions for
further investigation are discussed.



AM2005 Academy of Marketing Conference (2005 : Dublin, Ireland)


1 - 11


Westburn Publishers


Dublin, Ireland

Place of publication

Helensburgh, Scotland

Start date


End date




Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2005, Westburn Publishers


K Ghallachoir

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference: Marketing : building business, shaping society

Usage metrics