A Big Question: What is the ideal ratio of teachers to students?



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I caught up with the recording of the #ocTEL induction webinar today, where Diana Laurillard categorises some of the Big Questions that are being asked by those participating in this MOOC.

In one section she talks about a 1:25 ratio, of teacher:students. I thought this was kind of interesting and raised a few questions for me. Does this mean no more than 25 students in a class or that a tutor has no more than 25 students in their tutorial group? What time scale are we talking here? For example, I don’t have more than 25 students in any of my classes, but I could have up to 3 different groups of students at any one time, so at times I teach over 40 students.

Is it the same question for face to face learning, or for blended learning as it is for online learning? How much of the drive to implement online learning comes from a desire to save money? How does this balance with the wider philosophical debates about the role of education in society and access to that education? What is the role of the teacher and student in this ratio? Is the tutor still the giver of information or a designer of a learning opportunity?

What’s the role of the student (and teacher-as-student)? Taking part in my second MOOC, how much ‘contact’ will I actually have with the MOOC tutors? Does it matter? If we are all participating, and creating content, and discussing do I need feedback from the designated tutor?

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