Instructional strategies used in large classes at the University of Namibia: the case of Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus
Mushaandja-Mufeti, Marja Ndeyapo
PublisherMushaandja- Mufeti, Marja Ndeyapo
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Large classes have become common worldwide especially in developing countries where tertiary education is considered important to national development. Teaching or lecturing in large classes can be of grave concern to anyone because of the various challenges involved. This study sought to investigate the instructional strategies used in large classes at the University of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus (HPC). The key research question that guided the study was: How do the teacher educators facilitate the teaching and learning process for prospective teachers in large classes at HPC? It is generally believed that the effective use of meaningful instructional strategies is very important in any educational institution as it enables lecturers to successfully teach their classes, especially in situations where the numbers of students in any one class is large. The study adopted a qualitative approach and exploratory case study design and used criterion purposive and purposive random sampling strategies. The participants for the study were three teacher educators who teach classes with one hundred students or more, nineteen student teachers and three campus management members. Data were collected through face- to- face semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, non-participant classroom observations, and document analysis. The data were analysed by means of thematic and content analysis. The study was guided by Vygotsky’s social constructivism theory and the Five E instructional model. The constructivist/interpretivist research paradigm was adopted. The results revealed that large class size hinder the implementation of active teaching approaches and strategies, large class impact on the learning activities, assessment tasks and feedback given to student teachers. Such class sizes also impact on classroom management and control due to various challenges. The findings further showed that committed, innovative and strategic teacher educators and student teachers were able to cope with large classes. The study therefore recommended that the university should employ more teacher educators and provide appropriate resources that would enable teacher educators to cope with large classes. The study also recommends that student-teacher contact hours should be increased especially for large classes.
- PhD Theses (FoE)