Large Lecture Sections: An Experiment Test of Their Effectiveness

34 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010

See all articles by Brian K. Arbour

Brian K. Arbour

John Jay College, CUNY

Andreas Karras

City University of New York, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of Political Science

Ernest Lee

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Date Written: February 1, 2010

Abstract

Can a large lecture sections be an effective means of student instruction? The creation of a single large section class we created provides a natural experiment to address this issue. Students in our large section class were indistinguishable from students in regular-sized classes on our Department’s assessment exam. On the other hand, we find that students gave lower ratings to the instructor and the class on post-semester surveys. We find that most, though not al, of these differences come from students who sat in the back half of our architecturally challenged classroom. Our results indicate that there are plusses and minuses to large section courses, and administrators and department chairs must weigh both in deciding whether to adopt large section classes.

Keywords: Large lecture sectionds,

Suggested Citation

Arbour, Brian K. and Karras, Andreas and Lee, Ernest, Large Lecture Sections: An Experiment Test of Their Effectiveness (February 1, 2010). APSA 2010 Teaching & Learning Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1546252 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1546252

Brian K. Arbour (Contact Author)

John Jay College, CUNY ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Andreas Karras

City University of New York, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of Political Science ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Ernest Lee

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

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