Pedagogy for Higher Education Large Classes (PHELC)

Welcome to the PHELC website.  PHELC aims to support higher education professors who teach large classes

Twitter:    @PHELCprofessors     #PHELCprofessors

Pedagogy for Higher Education Large Classes 


PHELC24 Symposium

 Friday 7 June 2024


The 6th PHELC Symposium took place ONLINE on 7 June 2024, 11-2.30 Irish Summer Time (IST). 

The focus of the symposium is on pedagogical practice in large classes in higher education.  The symposium attracts presenters and attendees from around the world and provides a forum to share evidence based practice in relation to teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment in the large class context.  See the Published Symposia Proceedings Tab for links to recordings of previous keynotes and  presentations  and to published papers.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker for the 2024 symposium is Dr Jaclyn Broadbent who brings a wealth of experience, research and enthusiasm in the large class pedagogy context to our event ... see below for details.

Thanks to the Teaching Enhancement Unit at  Dublin City University  for funding provided under the Strategic Alignment of  Teaching & Learning Enhancement (SATLE) Scheme which has enabled us to  offer registration free of charge.  

For Full PHELC24 Symposium Schedule click HERE

Twitter - #PHELC24     @PHELCprofessors

Keynote Speaker PHELC 2024 

Dr Jaclyn Broadbent, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Title: Aligning the summative and formative purposes of assessment: assignment design, feedback and moderation at scale.

Dr. Jaclyn Broadbent, an Associate Professor at Deakin University, is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Sessional Academic Experience and the Deputy Head of the School of Psychology. Moreover, as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), she plays a part in advancing educational research. Holding dual PhDs in Psychology and Education, Dr. Broadbent's research expertise lies at the intersection of online self-regulated learning and the practical application of teaching strategies to enhance student success. Jaclyn is passionate about delivering high-quality, challenging and supportive learning experiences for students and has implemented a range of innovative, engaging and student-oriented teaching practices. Her teaching excellence has garnered recognition, notably with the Australian Award and Citation for University Teaching and as Deakin's Teacher of the Year. To learn more about her journey and work, visit

Rationale for PHELC

The trend towards massification in higher education has resulted inter alia in the proliferation of large classes. However, there is no consensus on what constitutes ‘large’ (Kerr, 2011). The purpose of this symposium is to move the emphasis away from the contested term ‘large’ class to focus instead on the nature of teaching, learning and assessment in this context regardless of what is perceived as ‘large’. The aim of the symposium is to identify pedagogical and assessment possibilities which are appropriate for large classes and which maximise student learning, engagement and participation in that context. As such this symposium responds to recent calls for a pedagogical rather than a numerical focus to the debate (Prosser & Trigwell, 2014).

History of PHELC Symposium

The impetus for developing the symposium had its genesis in the experience of the two convenors who have taught large university classes for many years (see below for our details). The first two PHELC symposia were held in conjunction with the Higher Education Advances (HEAd) Conference, València in 2019 and again, virtually in 2020.  The support and encouragement of the HEAd Conference committee was instrumental in enabling us to develop PHELC as an event in its own right and the third PHELC symposium was held independently, online in June 2021. We remain indebted to our Spanish friends for their guidance and expertise.

HEAd24 is a hybrid event this year, based again in UPV, Valencia, 18-21 June. We strongly recommend attendance at this conference - a vibrant, energising event attracting academics from all over the world.  Registration information may be found HERE.

Other PHELC events

The annual symposium is the main event on the PHELC calendar. However, in 2021, we branched out to develop other events. Our first seminar was held in December 2021 which allowed large class teachers from two universities to share experience and expertise in teaching large classes, We hope to develop this aspect of our work in the future. Details of the seminar may be found on the 'Other Events' page of this website.

Ann Marie Farrell

Ann Marie Farrell is Assistant Professor in the School of Inclusive and Special Education, Institute of Education, Dublin City University.  She works on a range of under- and post-graduate teacher education programmes.  Classes on some of these programmes are considered 'large' i.e. 100 up to 430 students.   Click here for full profile.

Dr. Anna Logan

Dr. Anna Logan is Associate  Professor in the School of Inclusive and Special Education and the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University where she teaches across seven undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes up to and including doctoral programmes. Anna has conducted, published and presented research relating to many aspects of higher education. Click here for full profile.