Top 5 Active Learning Strategies for Large Classes


Revolutionize your teaching with Active Learning Strategies for Large Classes – engage students, foster collaboration, and boost comprehension!

5 Active Learning Strategies for Large Classes

Teaching large classes comes with unique challenges. With dozens or even hundreds of students in the room, it can be difficult to keep them engaged and actively participating. However, active learning is crucial for true understanding and retention. The good news is that with some creativity, there are plenty of effective active learning strategies suitable for large classes.

Earlier, we wrote about “11 Strategies for Active Learning in Online Continuing Education“. This post unveils the top 5 active learning strategies for large classes.

The 5 Active Learning Strategies for Large Classes

Below are the active learning strategies for large classes. If you are a teacher and you find yourself teaching a large class, you can utilize these learning methods.

1. Think-Pair-Share

A simple but powerful approach, think-pair-share gets the entire class involved. First, the instructor poses a discussion question or problem and gives students a minute or two to think alone. Next, students pair up and share their thoughts with a partner.

Finally, pairs share summaries of their discussions with the whole class. This technique encourages participation from every student, allows them to clarify their thinking, and builds active listening skills. It’s easy to implement with pre-lecture questions, problem-solving tasks, case study analysis, and more.

You might also be interested in learning “How to Create an Active Learning Environment“. We wrote a very comprehensive guide on that just for you.

2. Technology-Powered Polling and Response Systems

Classroom response systems like clickers, online polls, and interactive presentation apps are ideal for large classes. These tools allow instructors to ask multiple-choice, true/false, or open-ended questions and get immediate feedback.

Students engage anonymously, gaps in understanding are revealed, and the instructor can adapt teaching in real time. Polling and response systems work well for quizzes, pre-post testing, discussions, and more.

3. Collaborative Learning and Group Projects

By working in small groups, students in large classes can actively participate in meaningful tasks. Well-designed group projects allow for deeper exploration of content through discussion and require students to apply their knowledge.


Group work also builds teamwork, communication, and peer teaching skills. Consider debates, role-playing, collaborative research presentations, case study analysis, and other activities that get students working together.

4. Problem-Based Learning and Simulations

Present students with real-world problems and challenges that require active problem-solving and critical thinking. Develop case studies, ethical dilemmas, or design challenges relevant to the subject material.

Historical reenactments and science simulations also encourage active learning. Give students agency to make choices, think analytically, and develop solutions.

5. Interactive Lectures and Discussions

Rethink the traditional lecture format to involve more student participation. Pose open-ended questions and allow time for small group discussions. Facilitate debates around controversial topics or have students give brief presentations.

Use think-pair-share around complex concepts. Have students give peer feedback or summarize key points. These techniques keep students actively listening, thinking, and contributing.

Tips and Techniques

  • Manage time carefully when implementing active learning. Build in time for instructions, group transitions, and sharing conclusions.
  • Provide very clear instructions, expectations, and guidance for group activities.
  • Give constructive feedback when students present their work.
  • Be flexible and adaptive. Modify strategies to suit your unique large-class environment and needs.

Do not forget to check this list we published earlier about “314 Active Learning Techniques for Teachers and Learners PDF Download“.


Active learning in large classes is very attainable with strategies like think-pair-share discussions, classroom response systems, collaborative projects, problem-based activities, and interactive lectures.

These techniques promote participation, deeper understanding, engagement, and improved critical thinking skills. All learners benefit from active involvement. Implement a few of these strategies in your next big class for a more dynamic learning experience.

If you have any questions or suggestions kindly leave them in the comment section and we will reply as fast as possible.


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