A perennial question at my institution is about the appropriate size of an online class (we use Moodle). What discussions have you had at your institutions? What helped you make a decision? Have you created an enrollment limit for online classes? If so, at what number? If not, how do you support faculty teaching large online classes? [NB. I have a meeting at lunch today (4/5) in which we'll discuss some of these issues.]

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We also use Moodle. Class sizes are at the Professor's discretion. Some are comfortable managing up to 12-15 online but others limit it to 8-10. In terms of support we set up the skeleton and train them in the basics of adding activities and rtesources. Then they are on their own. We supply them with a copy of "Using Moodle" by Cole and Foster and we encourage them to use online documentation. They can email me with anything that doesn't get answered with those respources.
I meant do you give an instructor with a large online class a TA, do you create a second section with a different instructor, or perhaps does the use of groups sufficiently enable the instructor to manage the class. Also, would you consider paying an instructor more compensation for a much larger online class than normal.
We have a variety of online class sizes. They're typically set by the division chair and then tweeked by the faculty. We've tried to limit the larger classes to 30, but they've often expanded to 40+. Typically these large classes would have two faculty and/or a couple of TAs.

We also try to determine how much faculty-student interaction needs to happen during the course. A faculty who is mostly posting online lectures and reading a couple papers throughout the semester is typically more willing to take on more students. But those who do a lot of weekly interaction pieces keep their courses smaller.
We find that courses are financially sustainable at a minimum of 15 seats. Our courses typically are in the 25- to 30-seat range. We typically use small groups even in a course of 15 seats because it enhances focus and critical thinking. We assign a TA when the course exceeds 15 seats.


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