In a recent post, ProfHacker Mark Sample outlines one of the issues facing schools across the country: increasing class sizes. As colleges continue to face an uptick in student enrollment, many are demanding that faculty fit more students into their classrooms. This increase in enrollment can lead to problems; including issues with how the class is formatted, an increase in instructor workload, and a decrease in personal attention given to students.
While the issue is multifaceted, one approach that Mark proposes involves leveraging classroom technology to help even the odds. Technology, when used effectively, can allow the instructor to engage with and assess a much larger class than would normally be possible. It can also promote a student-centered classroom by encouraging discussion and participation between students, instead of “bottlenecking” the learning process by requiring the instructor to be the conduit through which information is exchanged.
When we designed SAGrader, we originally did so with large classes in mind. We knew there had to be a way to provide quality writing assignments to classes of 100, 300, even 1,000 students without significantly increasing instructor workload. We also felt that, although other forms of learning have their merits, writing is one of the best ways for students to learn and retain information (see the recent article on WIRED.com about writing as a learning strategy).
Numerous schools and thousands of satisfied students later, we believe we’ve developed a great program to help teachers expand the capabilities of their classroom. If you’re looking for an effective way to leverage technology in your over-sized classroom, we invite you to consider SAGrader. Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call (574.445.4554) and we’d be happy to give you a guided tour and answer any questions you may have.