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 


Provisional Date for PHELC24 Symposium = Friday 7 June 2024


Journal:   Special issue of the Journal of Work-Applied Management 

Theme:   Leveraging the possibilities of ‘learning at scale’: Future proofing business and management education 

Guest Editors: Associate Professor Elaine Huber, The University of Sydney Business School, Australia / Associate Professor Lynn Gribble, University of New South Wales Business School, Australia / Associate Professor Yuhui Gao, Dublin City University Business School, Ireland / Associate Professor Imam Baihaqi, Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia / Professor Annemette Kjærgaard, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

#PHELC23 Programme

Papers from the #PHELC23 Symposium are now available on Zenodo in the PHELC Community section.  Recordings of presentations and full proceedings will be available on this site in the 'published symposia proceedings' tab in due course.

Follow us on Twitter - @PHELCprofessors    #PHELC23

Photo of a smiling white woman with short, blonde hair. She is wearing a white v-necked top, a lilac coloured jacket and a silver necklace

Keynote Speaker PHELC 2023 

Associate Professor Elaine Huber

University of Sydney Business School

Title: Scaling New Horizons: Empowering Educators and Reimagining the Student Experience in Higher Education Large Classes

Elaine is a leader in co-design and collaboration in the higher education sector and has been designing curriculum and teaching adults for over 20 years. Her philosophy of teaching takes a student-centred approach and incorporates active and collaborative learning to improve the student experience.

Elaine has received a number of awards for educational programs that she has designed and led and was a recent winner of a Vice Chancellor's award for leadership and mentoring. She is an executive member of ASCILITE, has led a wide range of learning and teaching communities and is highly versed in supporting colleagues through institutional change.

Elaine currently leads a large team and a strategic initiative at the University of Sydney Business School on teaching large classes and more specifically on Connected Learning at Scale (CLaS). Her other research interests include co-design, evaluation and online assessment.

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.

HEAd23 is a hybrid event this year, based again in UPV, Valencia, 19-22 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.