Large Enrollment Classes

Large enrollment courses present special considerations, both face-to-face and online. How do you manage grading load and student expectations on feedback and turnaround? How can you offer opportunities for student-student interaction and discussion? How can you keep students engaged? 

Large Enrollment Classes Resources


  • It is important to set the ground rules on turnaround time in a large class in any teaching modality. Be specific.  
  • When possible, leverage auto-graded quizzes. While quizzing is not a perfect solution, integrating it as a part of your assessment strategy can relieve you of some responsibility for grading. Include targeted feedback on at least the most difficult topics to support students’ understanding. These quizzes can either be graded or not. Consider making practice quizzes them count just enough toward the course grade to give students an incentive to complete them. 
  • Rubrics for assignments can help to speed your grading and substituting structured worksheets for long essays targets student writing and helps to streamline grading. Provide rubrics before students complete assignments so they will clearly know the criteria for success as they complete their work. 
  • Well-designed student self-check assignments using model responses (annotated as appropriate to point out complex details, points of confusion, and address common misconceptions) can reduce faculty workload. 
  • Peer assessments can be useful. Be sure to develop clear rubrics to assist students in assessing one another’s work, and guidelines about what constitutes appropriate feedback. 
  • Managing online discussions in a class with over 25 or so students can be challenging. If you plan to incorporate discussions, use discussion groups with student-appointed roles for moderation, communication, research, etc.  
  • Using student response systems (“clickers”) in large on-campus classes is a useful way to engage students.