n Journal of Educational Studies - Strategies involved in teaching large groups of undergraduate students

Volume 16 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1680-7456


The study is set at a large, research-intensive university in South Africa. The teaching model in mathematics for entry level students is that of large group teaching, with up to five hundred students per group. The principles required for the success of large group teaching in mathematics, as identified by the teachers involved, are classified hierarchically into two broad categories. The first category concerns organisational principles and the second involves social principles based on the human element. The study shows that organisational fluency such as suitable and well-equipped venues, and the skilful use of technology is essential. What also emerges is the importance of ‘soft’ skills such as knowledge of large group thinking, and the ability to deploy strategies to build a group identity and group coherence, as well as for making the individual feel recognised. The recommendation is for these skills to be developed to cultivate an environment within which large group learning is optimised.

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