Large Lecture Class Policy
The Predominant Dilemma of Educators and Students
Many policymakers nowadays are confused on what must be done in order to have quality education in a wise way. We all know that the most intriguing and most controversial issue is when we talk about the right usage of the country’s budget. This is not only happening in our country but almost all over the world. Wrong usage of funds may lead to budget cuts in the different departments of the government and one of the affected is education. Due to budget cut, heads of some state universities implemented large class policy. They say that it is the best way to give education for everyone. But, it only became a burden for students and teachers of state universities, sacrificing the student’s academic achievement and knowledge and making it hard for the teachers to provide quality education in a large number of students for just a short period of time. One of the state universities that use the large class policy is the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Moreover, UPLB Ex-chancellor Luis Rey Velasco proposed to increase the size of foundational and general classes from 25-40 students into 120-175 students. Many students and teachers were opposed to this idea. Showing their protest, around 1000 teachers and students walked out of their morning classes. But of course, the administration has many justifiable reasons to pursue the conduction of large class scheme. So, the policy was implemented, starting on the first semester of school year 2007-2008. The implementation of large class scheme is not the ideal solution. Many researches oppose this set-up because of its negative effects. One evidence opposes large class policy is the work of Joe Cuseo. According to “The Empirical Case Against Large Class Size: Adverse Effects on the Teaching, Learning, and Retention of First Year Students” of Joe Cuseo , there are eight findings opposing to the large-sized class: “(1) increased faculty reliance on the lecture method of instruction, (2) less active student involvement in the learning process, (3) reduced frequency of instructor interaction with and feedback to students, (4) reduced depth of student thinking inside the classroom, (5) reduced breadth and depth of course objectives, course assignments, and course-related learning strategies used by students outside the classroom, (6) lower levels of academic achievement (learning) and academic performance (grades), (7) reduced overall course satisfaction with the learning experience, and (8) lower student ratings (evaluations) of course instruction.” The first finding was faculty reliance on the lecture method of instruction is increased by enlarging the class size. McKeachie (1986) notes that, “Class size and method are almost inextricably intertwined. Thus, the research on class size and that on lecture vs. discussion overlap. Large classes are most likely to use lecture methods and less likely to use discussion than small classes”. Research says that the attention and concentration of students tend to be distracted after 10-20 minutes of continuous lecture. The second finding was students’ class participation is an important tool of learning. However, large class size leads to less active student involvement in the learning process. This will result to decrease in knowledge absorption due to lack of clarifications. The third finding says that the large class system reduce the interaction between the instructor and students. The absence of interaction between them may lead to misunderstanding which can head to acquisition of incorrect information. Carbone and Greenberg (1998) found out that students say that the interaction in large class has the least satisfaction.
The fourth finding says that large-sized class lowers the level of thinking of students. According to the study of Fischer and Grant, class size affects the mental skills of the students. In small-sized class (15 or fewer...
References: Cuseo, J. The empirical case against large class size: adverse effects on the teaching, learning, and retention of first year students, Marymount College.
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