Growing class sizes are usually seen to harm education quality in upper level courses, however the reality may be a little murkier at the 100 and 200 level. Rather than have a dozen teacher’s assistants of varying quality and grading ease teach a course, a single professor giving multiple choice tests may actually benefit students. The professor should know what they are talking about and will also be in tune with the test they are giving. This leads to less discouragement for students who often have zero intention of taking a lecture class as part of a major and less debates during office hours about what students were told to study.
At Friday’s budget forum, President Elson S. Floyd offered his assurances that the large incoming class would not affect the quality of education at our university. In preparation for the arrival of these new Cougs, Floyd estimates some $2.5 million was spent opening up new course sections and hiring on additional instructors. It is possible that the presence of mind of our administrators will prevent any negative effects to the quality of a WSU education from being realized. However, with 1,200 more freshmen coming in this year than last year, some skepticism about whether these measures will be effective is probably healthy.
I'd like to think that the growing student body at WSU would strengthen the quality of the education I am receiving due to an increased revenue. In reality, it is just going to make it harder for me to get a hold of my already overwhelmed professors as well as get into the classes I need for my major. I think education should be top priority in this country, but I do not think it should come at the expense of weakening an already questionable education system.
Growing class sizes means less professor-student interaction, but in the giant lectures the difference will be negligible. It'll be the jump from 20 to 30 students in a class where the impact will be felt. Professors will have to do more work with the same resources. But on a college level where most students don't go to office hours or interact with their professors, I doubt many people will notice a difference.
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