Due to increasing student enrollments and limited resources, small classes are evermore being replaced with large lectures. It is therefore essential to quality educational programs to address the challenges of student learning and engagement in large classes. This paper explains connections between basic learning research and practical strategies for engaging students in large engineering classrooms. First, we ground proposed instructional strategies with theory and empirical evidence on such key matters as how students represent ideas in memory, how these representations are elaborated and perfected over time, and how stored information can be retrieved for use. This helps us to understand how students learn to monitor and control their own learning and how large class environments can be approached as sites for significant learning. We discuss how electronic student response devices (clickers) have been useful for generating in-class interaction and active learning in large classes for individual and team activities. How to administer beneficial team-based projects for large classes is also presented, including: real-world problems that require teams to investigate and understand contemporary issues such as sustainability, working with industry, and third-world countries. Finally, personal style and characteristics of faculty who are successful with large classes is discussed.