My department is considering using more than one lecturer (sequentially, not in parallel) to give lectures in our large first-year classes (e.g. 500 students doing engineering mathematics).

In other words, one lecturer does the first 4 weeks, a second does the next 4 weeks and a third does the remaining 4 weeks.

There is enough content of disparate nature (e.g., linear algebra, calculus of various types) to split into three distinct blocks so that each lecturer teaches a coherent block. For example, a student won't have to learn about eigenvalues from lecturer A and diagonalization from lecturer B.

Is there evidence, ideally published research studies, about the effectiveness of such an arrangement, and whether the students view it favourably or otherwise etc?

In addition, if you or your department has tried this, I'd be interested in knowing how it went on an anecdotal basis.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if you get more substantive answers if you posted on academia se instead? This might not be related to math... $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    May 19 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


I have a close friend who teaches physiology at Harvard. She has done courses this way, and says:

I’ve done it in different ways. Usually I have a block, then the co-teacher, then back to me. The key is communication to make sure you don’t repeat each other, or assume that the other person has covered something that they hadn’t.

Also, you need to figure out how to split up administrative tasks so that no one is over-burdened and so it’s clear who is responsible for what. It’s great when the teachers have other obligations - gives them blocks of time to get things done.

As long as both teachers are good, students generally like it. Different people explain things slightly differently, and it can help students get a better understanding.

[If you'd prefer only math-related answers, please let me know and I'll delete this.]

  • $\begingroup$ Any answers / comments that apply generally to all subjects are welcome. I just gave the exact context in case anyone had experiences that definitely do not apply to Maths. $\endgroup$ May 20 at 9:53

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