Building capacity: Challenges and opportunities in large class pedagogy (LCP) in Sub-Saharan Africa

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22 Scopus citations


Over the past 20 years most countries, particularly developing countries, have seen a large increase in the number of students seeking higher education. A consequence of this growth is increasing pressure on teaching staff and institutions, usually resulting in, among other effects, increased class size. Large classes of between 300 and 1,000, and even more, at the undergraduate level are not uncommon in a number of countries (Mulryan-Kyne in Teach High Educ 15(2):175-185, 2010). Large classes are often perceived as one of the major obstacles to the attainment of quality education. Despite the difficulties associated with teaching and learning in large classes, they remain a reality in many countries affecting learners across all levels of the education system and are often the only perceived option available to meet growing demand for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa (Mohamedbhai in The effects of massification on higher education in Africa. Report from the Working Group on Higher Education of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, 2008). We contend that the challenges of delivering large classes can be confronted, and in many ways diminished, through the use of current and emerging technologies and enhanced faculty development. In this expository paper, we present findings from project activities focused on higher education faculty development and capacity building. The findings include both formative and summative development activities, as well as data collected in faculty professional development workshops and the results of two surveys. We use these data to lay out issues, challenges (e.g., skills, resources, logistics-including poor campus infrastructure), and opportunities (e.g., mobile capacity, distance tools such as Moodle) of large class pedagogy using a design-based research framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-808
Number of pages12
JournalHigher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Design-based research
  • Large class pedagogy
  • Learning management systems
  • Mobile learning
  • Technology
  • Universal design for learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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