Sunday, November 25, 2007

Class Sizes

Apparently, the issue of class sizes isn't just one for the K-12 set.

In all, there are 33 courses at Colorado with 400 students or more. Three have more than 1,200. Most are broken into sections, but even those may have hundreds of students. One chemistry course is so big that the only place on campus where everyone can take the final exam at once is the Coors Event Center, Colorado's basketball arena.

Such arrangements are here to stay on U.S. campuses.

1200 students? Even "only" 400? At that point, why not just conduct the classes online?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because conducting an online class for any number of people is a tremendous pain in the ***. The pain increases exponentially with the number of students enrolled.

I went to a mid-sized state university for undergrad and a lot of my classes were like this. It was an engineering school, and my physics classes were in the 200-300 person range. I didn't learn a blessed thing in those classes, other than you shouldn't trust what the physics department says will be on the departmental final.

My experiences in those science classes were one of the big reasons I wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college when I finished my PhD. The biggest class here is 35, and my average class size ranges between 10-12. If class sizes get above 25 people start complaining bitterly.