Organizing learning when teaching 200 students Organization Theory? A reflexive learning design for teaching large cohorts

Line Revsbæk

Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Learning outcome:
When linking theory to practice in the teaching of large groups it is often done by asking students to reflect on a prewritten case from either the public media, the curriculum or the teacher’s own research. Instead, I present organizing a cohort of 230 students as ‘an organization of enquirers’ with the intention to link the experience of the students (as members of the ad hoc organization) to the theory in the course curriculum. Anticipated learning outcomes: From the course practice of reflection-in-practice continuously relating theoretical concepts to lived experience (both that expressed by interview persons and that of the students themselves) the students are expected to more readily apply the course theoretical concepts in their analysis when they are faced with real life organizational situations in either cases at the course exam or in future employments. A learning outcome is thus expected to be more applied use of the course theoretical concepts as opposed to mere concept repetition.

Description of the teaching design:
To drive the students’ learning, and to have a production to organize for and be reflexive about, the students are asked to chose, contact and interview a representative of a public or private sector company and work out a written case. 230 students are organized in 46 groups of five students. All groups belong to a cohort of nine or ten groups, and five instructors work as facilitators in the cohorts. Instructor cohort are integrated in the lecturing design, and instructors act as process consultants as well as traditional expert students. Each week focus on a theoretical theme from the course curriculum and is designed as an interplay between lecturing, student teamwork, student peer inquiry, and student-teacher summaries. Throughout the semester the ‘organization of enquires’ produces 46 written cases on real life organizations and develops a shared wiki on the outlined themes from the course curriculum. As a resource for learning (bringing the concepts and theories of the curriculum into use) the course draws on the ongoing experiences of students, instructors and teacher from working in this educational setup as ‘an organization of enquires’, to explore and understand the curriculum theory on organizational behavior and design.

How the practice can be inspirational/transferable to others:
A reflexive teaching design gives authority to the lived experience of the inquirer, while at the same time educating the students about the traditions of thought and the cultural knowledge base within a field. Reflexive learning is most often practiced in smaller groups of students. This presentation will present the large group education design and sum up some of the first experiences from running the program in order to reflect on what inspirations might be deduced and suggested for teaching similar large cohorts in different disciplines.
TitelProceedings fra konferencen TAL2015 på Syddansk Universitet, 2015
RedaktørerRie Troelsen
ForlagSyddansk Universitetsforlag
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-93192-86-7
StatusUdgivet - 2016
BegivenhedTeaching for Active Learning - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 3. nov. 20153. nov. 2015


KonferenceTeaching for Active Learning
LokationUniversity of Southern Denmark


  • higher education
  • large student cohort
  • reflexivity
  • organization theory
  • simulator