Pedagogy for Higher Education Large Classes (PHELC)

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Pedagogy for Higher Education Large Classes


Last PHELC Symposium = 2 June 2020: Virtual event

Pre-conference symposium at Higher Education Advances (HEAd) Conference 2020

Insights into teaching large classes from an evidence-based, higher education practice perspective: Workshop co-located with HEAd '20 Conference.

On Tuesday, 2 June 2020 the HEAd Conference virtually hosted a pre-conference Special Interest Group symposium entitled Pedagogy for Higher Education Large Classes (PHELC). The theme of the 2020 PHELC symposium was 'Assessment for Large Classes'. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was moved online and the workshop in the second half of the symposium focused on the sudden pivot of large face-to-face classes online in terms of the impact on pedagogy (teaching, learning, assessment).

For full Symposium programme see About PHELC

The workshop convenors are Ann Marie Farrell and Dr Anna Logan, Dublin City University. This will be the second PHELC symposium; the first was held on 25 June 2019, in Valencia.

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).

Overview of PHELC Special Interest Symposium, 2 June 2020

The theme of this year's pre-conference symposium was 'Assessment for Large Classes'. The symposium was four hours in duration. It included a mix of extended presentations and workshop(s). PHELC moved from the intended face-to-face format which was to be held in Valencia to a virtual context. Papers submitted were reviewed by a panel established by the two convenors and published individually with DOI on the open access platform, Zenodo. The workshop focused on the transition of large face-to-face classes to the online environment due to the pandemic. Implications for teaching, learning and assessment were discussed.

Call for papers is now closed - Please see SUBMISSIONS page on this website for full details.

HEAd Conference, Virtual, 3-5 June, 2020

The sixth Higher Education Advances (HEAd) Conference was held on June 3-5, 2020 virtually by a team of academics based at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), which has been recently ranked as the best technical university in Spain by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2018.

HEAd is an international conference which brings together professors from higher education institutions all over the world.

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital city of the Comunitat Valenciana region, which is major tourist destination in summer.

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.