Article in brief: The author discusses the disadvantages of students attending lecture halls.
Last year, I made the transition from being a high school student to a university student. The change wasn’t that hard, but the most difficult part was the extra workload. Now, even though my freshman year has been pleasant so far, I can’t help but think of the similarities and differences between schools and universities.
The main point that caught my attention is the lecture halls. At my high school, classes never exceeded 35 students. With 35 souls in class, it was a little bit difficult to engage in discussions but it was still manageable. However, with taking courses in lecture halls, things can get a little too hectic.
I’ve taken a course in a lecture hall only once and it was the most unpleasant experience I have ever had. I know that having lecture halls spares universities a great deal of money, but at the end of the day, spending for the sake of their students is worth it. In all the small classes I’ve been part of, I was able to interact with the professor and other students, and I actually knew the names of almost everyone. But in lecture halls, it’s hard to grab the chance of participating in intellectual debates in a class that contains over 75 students.
The number of students in a class is very important. People have different paces and ways of understanding, and if they can’t ask questions in class, then how will the information shared sink into their brains? Plus, being around so many students makes it tough to develop an actual relationship with the professor, making students uncomfortable with asking questions and clearing doubts.
Though I am not saying that attendance is the reason a student should attend class, but it motivates them to go to classes when they don’t feel like attending. Besides, you can’t really pass a course with poor attendance. In lecture halls, it takes a good five to ten minutes to take roll, so the professors rarely bother to take it in order to use that valuable time in explaining the lesson assigned for the day. As such, one can be tempted to skip class because no one would really notice, and that act itself can become frequent when feeling that your absence will go unobserved.
When thinking about it, professors try to organize graded in-class quizzes and activities to lure students to attend so that they don’t get their grades deducted. Nonetheless, living at such a modern age, professors who teach in lecture halls save themselves from the hassle of giving so many students a test, and instead, they simply assign online activities and quizzes that usually take a week to complete.
In addition, the no cellphone rule is ignored. Yes, it is the students’ responsibility to pay attention, but in a class so big, who would notice if their minds drift off for a while? The big number makes it so easy to lose focus. I’ve reached a point where I was looking to my left and right, and noticed that everyone around me is busy with their phones or having a conversation with a friend, disregarding the presence of an educator. What makes it even easier to use cell phones is not fearing the embarrassment of being asked to leave class and the irritation of losing grades for breaking a rule.
Holding a lecture in a hall or a classroom has both its advantages and disadvantages. But in my opinion, smaller classes are more beneficial to the mind and soul. It is refreshing to be recognized by your professor and definitely more motivating to pay attention and attend. However, they are not the only learning space that should be offered, but lecture halls should be avoided to spare the student the difficult experience.
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
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