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Online classroom instruction is an exciting technology and continues to draw the attention of students, instructors and administrators working or studying in educational settings. Large numbers of faculty are currently involved in teaching online or hybrid courses within their educational institutions. At the present time, "very large" online classes are usually defined as 150 students and above. Many instructors are now experimenting with making online learning options available to even larger audiences and online class sizes are increasing rapidly. This paper presents guidelines for managing large online courses. Among key elements important in meeting the needs of the distant learner through large online course design are: effective communication, use of teaching assistants and multiple sections, teaching techniques successful in large online sections and professional practice in the online classroom. This paper will discuss these elements and corresponding suggestions for the instructors of large to very large online courses.

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This document was originally published by Common Ground in The International Journal of Learning. Readers must contact Common Ground for permission to reproduce this article.