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Abstract

Large class sizes and a diverse student cohort have resulted in challenges for academics in third level institutes both nationally and internationally. This is a result of widening of participation and the drive to create a knowledge-based society in Ireland for the future. The focus in this paper is on third level chemistry education and looking at the issues arising both in the class and laboratory and suggesting learning and teaching strategies in order to overcome them or to enhance efficiencies. The learning and teaching strategies suggested however may be applied across many disciplines. The learning theories that underpin these strategies are highlighted throughout the text to strengthen the pedagogical framework on which they are based. Behaviourism, constructivism, cognitivism and social constructivism are the four main learning theories that support the discussion. Exemplars from the literature and practice led, and all designed, developed and evaluated in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). The role of learning technologies has been included where appropriate. There are many ways of addressing issues of teaching diverse groups at third level that are free and readily accessible, it is hoped that this paper will encourage academics to try a new educational approach in their practice.

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