Class sizes, type can vary by course

BY BRIDGET MULCAHY STAFF REPORTER With 17 different major academic units, more than 150 different undergraduate programs and over a 100 majors and minors, classes at the University come in all different shapes and sizes. Large lectures are held in auditoriums like Foellinger Auditorium which hold…BY BRIDGET MULCAHY

STAFF REPORTER

With 17 different major academic units, more than 150 different undergraduate programs and over a 100 majors and minors, classes at the University come in all different shapes and sizes.

Large lectures are held in auditoriums like Foellinger Auditorium which holds approximately 2500 seats. Smaller classes are held in buildings all over campus. Some are simply lectures, while other classes are hands-on or interactive. The Institute of Aviation, for example, holds “class” in an airplane, hundreds of feet above the ground.

Lectures held in auditoriums are typically introductory level courses that need to include a large number of people. Professors lecture to the entire class and then smaller sections meet with teaching assistants to clarify the material. While these classes do lack personal instruction, due to the large number of seats, some students find that they are easier to get into, said Tony Gugliotta, graduate in LAS.

“Since there are so many students, professors rarely take attendance. It’s easy to fall behind if you don’t go to class. No one is there to check up on you or catch you up,” Gugliotta said.

“I promised myself that I would never miss class and it really paid off,” he added.

For upper level courses or more specialized classes, the class size is much smaller. Professors give individual attention, there are class discussions and in some cases attendance is taken.

“Small classes are better in a lot of ways,” said Jeffrey Wheeler, junior in LAS. “You get to know your professor and then people in your class.”

Both large lectures and smaller, more personalized classes have their benefits. As a freshman it’s almost impossible to get completely one or the other – all small classes or large lectures. There are different strategies for each type of class and it also depends on your professor as well as your study skills, Wheeler added.

Regardless of the class size, it’s imperative that you keep up with the work.

“Freshman year, I had an 8:30 a.m. big lecture. I never went,” said James Watson, junior in LAS. “I did not do well. I learned my lesson.”