Student engagement for a large unit in an active learning space

David Bulger, Sigurbjorg Gudlaugsdottir, Ayse Bilgin, Greg Robertson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Mass education is a fact of the 21st century, whether educators like it or not. Growing demand for higher education will continue to increase class sizes, bringing challenges in relation to students' engagement and learning outcomes. Appropriately designed and equipped learning spaces may improve students’ engagement and outcomes in large classes. This paper describes our experience revamping a large operations research unit's practical classes. The aims of the revamp were to increase students’ interaction with tutors and each other, and to develop students' verbal skills and confidence through short unrehearsed presentations. We narrate three iterations of our action research cycle, with reflections based on feedback from students and tutors, and also from peer observation. Of particular note is how the innovations relied on the design and technology of the active learning space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch and development in higher education
    Subtitle of host publicationthe place of learning and teaching
    EditorsS. Frielick, N. Buissink-Smith, P. Wyse, J. Billot, J. Hallas, E. Whitehead
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)0908557930
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventHERDSA Annual International Conference (36th : 2013) - Auckland, New Zealand
    Duration: 1 Jul 20134 Jul 2013


    ConferenceHERDSA Annual International Conference (36th : 2013)
    CityAuckland, New Zealand


    • active learning space
    • large class
    • student engagement


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