Designing for learning: A case study in rethinking teaching and learning for a large first year class

Lisa Goldacre, Susan Bolt, Michael Lambiris


This paper presents a case study in which the principles of scholarship were applied to designing an approach to learning suitable for large classes. While this case study describes an Australian first year Business Law unit, the findings presented in this paper would be relevant to a wide range of teachers faced with large enrollments in first year higher education courses. In the present case, the teacher had the challenge of teaching very large first year classes comprising students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, many of whom were enrolled in the course not from choice but because it was compulsory for their degree. In this paper the authors describe how the teaching of the course was designed to enhance and encourage student learning. The authors’ focus is on implementation of first year curriculum design principles; use of computer-based tutorials and audience response systems; and a team approach to teaching. The teaching practices discussed in this paper are underpinned by references to relevant literature and contextualized within an ethics approved research project. The findings presented in this paper are likely to be of interest to teachers of law, teachers of large classes, and to curriculum and academic developers.


case study; curriculum design, large class teaching, computer-based learning, team teaching

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ISSN 1527-9316