Lecturer in a large theatre
Large Classes

Guidance for moving large class cohorts to the online environment

Information to support those that teach large classes


The overall aim of this project is to examine the needs of academics teaching large class groups when moving to teaching those groups entirely online.

Teaching large classes in universities is an issue which is becoming more and more dominant in terms of teaching and learning, particularly vis-à-vis the pedagogical understanding of academics and the diversity that is inevitable in such a large group.  The overnight move to online teaching and learning for this group of academics and their students must have implications for how teachers teach and how students learn in the large class context.  Moreover, the diversity in the classroom requires thought to be given to how learning, teaching and assessment are designed, hence our focus on the use of UDL as a frame of reference for supporting academics in designing their modules going forward.  While this project is developed in the immediate Covid 19 context, we intend the outcomes to reach beyond that to a post-Covid teaching and learning context to ensure maximum impact and sustainability of skills development and enhanced practice

We will use the research from this project to inform practice of both academics teaching these large groups and of those supporting academics in the teaching/learning context

Here you will find a guidance document to support you as you plan for curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment for large classes in the online space.


Guidance for moving large class cohorts to the online environment , released September 2020. Check this webpage again for future updates to the guidance.


The findings of this project have been disseminated as follows:

Stone, S., Lowney, R., Buckley, K., Farrell, A., Glynn, M. and Smyth, S. (2021) Moving large classes online - findings and guidance from a rapid research project. Oral Presentation. Irish Learning Technology Association EdTech Winter Conference, Online.

Glynn, M., Farrell, A.M., Buckley, K., Lowney, R., Smyth, S., & Stone, S., (2020, December).  Suddenly moving large classes online: the DCU experience. International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy (ICEP) Symposium, Dublin: Virtual.

Smyth, S., Glynn, M., Buckley, K., Farrell, A.M., Lowney, R., & Stone, S., (2020, December). Moving large, face-to-face classes online. Mary Immaculate College, Staff Professional Development Webinar. Limerick: Virtual 

Stone, S., Buckley, K., Farrell, A.M., Glynn, M., Lowney, R., & Smyth, S. (2020, October).  Moving large classes online. Poster presentation, European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) Annual Conference, Virtual.