Asee peer logo

Comparative Analysis of Two Teaching Methods for Large Classes

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Lauge Peter Westergaard Clausen Technical University of Denmark Orcid 16x16

visit author page

As a PhD-fellow at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), I focused on modelling uptake of pollutants to plants and how plants can be utilized to remediate contaminated soil- and groundwater. As our engineering classes at DTU have continuously increased in size, I recently moved into educational research as a postdoc.

visit author page


Jason Bazylak University of Toronto

visit author page

Professor Bazylak brings his engineering, education, and design experience to his role at the University of Toronto. His primary role is coordinating and teaching an award winning first year design and communications course (Engineering Strategies and Practice). As well he conducts action-based research into improving the learning experience of undergraduate engineering students and increasing diversity in the profession, particularly women and Indigenous peoples (Native Americans).

Professor Bazylak started his career as a manufacturing engineer in a new product introduction division of a large telecommunication manufacturer. He returned to academia joining the University of Victoria first as an engineering co-operative education coordinator and then as an engineer-in-residence. He joined the University of Toronto as a teaching focused professor where he is heavily involved in design education and diversity studies.

visit author page


Steffen Foss Hansen Technical University of Denmark Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Steffen Foss Hansen currently is Associate Professor in Regulatory Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Environmental Engineering and NanoDTU. He has a Master of Techn. Soc. from Roskilde University, a PhD degree in environmental engineering from DTU and a Doctor Technices (dr.techn.) from DTU. He conducts research into 1) how science and engineering can best be used in regulatory settings in situations pervaded by scientific uncertainty and complexity and 2) risk analysis, regulation and governance of nanotechnologies, and the applicability of decision-making tools under uncertainty. He has organized and taught continued courses on Risk assessment of nanomaterials for staff of the European Chemical Agency and since 2004 he has taught and coordinated courses at Master level in 1) Nanotechnology and the Environment and 2) Environmental Management and Ethics and has guest-lectured at Roskilde University, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Northeastern University, and Harvard University.

visit author page

author page

Redante Delizo Mendoza

Download Paper |


Background: Studying engineering has never been more popular and the societal need for engineering skills is immense. As a consequence, we are accepting more students into many of our programs.

Purpose: To identify criteria for good practices within large class teaching and to evaluate two selected large class teaching methods (TMs) namely Active Learning Exercises (ALEx) and Team-Based Learning (TBL), against these criteria.

Design/Method: First, the criteria for good teaching were identified via a literature review and include promoting active learning and meeting diverse ways of learning. Students and instructors involved in two different courses at Nanyang Technical University Singapore (NTU Singapore) and University of Toronto (UT), each representing a distinct TM, were subsequently surveyed. In the survey, students and instructors were asked to validate how important they found each of the identified criteria for good teaching. They were also asked to evaluate how well the respective TM supports each of these criteria for good teaching.

Results and Conclusions: The criteria identified via the literature review were considered to be “important” to “very important” by both students and instructors at both universities. TBL performs markedly better than ALEx in this study when it comes to the facilitation of the good teaching criteria, although a direct comparison is difficult as teacher, student and context specific issues are not analogous. In order to validate and further explore the findings of this study, a follow-up research should be completed on a single group of students being taught the same course topic by a single group of teachers using different types of TMs. This would ensure direct comparison between the selected TMs and eliminate potential biases related to differences culture, age of students, course topics taught and teachers individual teaching skills.

Keywords: large class teaching; team-based learning (TBL); active learning exercises (ALEx); best teaching practices

Clausen, L. P. W., & Bazylak, J., & Hansen, S. F., & Mendoza, R. D. (2019, June), Comparative Analysis of Two Teaching Methods for Large Classes Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32522

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015