College Students: An Ethical Question About Registering For Classes

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
Actually, two questions:



1) Do you really care who is teaching what classes at the intro-level? That is, do you schedule your Composition class by instructor or by day/time?



2) Would you care if a department moved you from one section of a course to another (at the same time, on the same campus) in order to redistribute students to ensure that the maximum number of classes "make"?



Here's why I'm asking. Every semester, university departments have to make decisions about when to cancel classes with only a few students in them. Usually, there will be a minimum number of students who have to be enrolled in order to make up the instructor wage, and so any classes with fewer than that number will be canceled, leaving the students to go enroll in something else. My argument is that if departments put "staff" on everything, students could be moved around to maximize enrollments (e.g. if one course at 9:00 on MWF has 25 students and another only has 7, the department would move 3 students over and allow both sections to make).



Do any of the students here have a comment on this? Would this bother you? I understand that sometimes students will enroll together in a class, or that a student may be determined to take a specific instructor, but beyond that, I can't see any objection that outweighs the greater good of more sections for more students and fewer cancellations.



Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Well, I'm out of school, but I'll still comment.



    Early on, I registered for classes based on the time and convenience. But after getting hit hard with some horrible "staff" instructors, my attitude changed completely.



    This was especially true when it came to my upper division GE's. If it had a "Staff" there, I wouldn't touch it. I always wanted to choose full-time faculty or someone I knew or heard of.



    Also, my school has this. Albeit, most of the people commenting on this site are probably shitty students, but it was nice to know what kind of class it would be. Most professors at the school are on there, so it helped me spread out my units knowing I could take an extra course if the professor didn't require much.



    I wish I would have used it earlier for my intro-level courses. I probably could have taken more brainless GE's and saved myself an extra semester in the beginning.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Who is doing the teaching can make all the difference. Especially in the intro classes. There are, unfortunately, too many faculty that only do the intro classes because they have to and the attitude comes through.



    Once you are into advanced classes the who can become very restricted and you either suck-up that it's not who you prefer or you pick a different specialty.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    Why not have the second section at a different time of the day? This way students can choose the time that best suits them.



    I didn't begin paying attention to who was teaching my classes until I was taking third-year courses. But then there weren't websites where you could go to get other students' opinions on professors.



    As to moving students after they've been placed in a class, that's probably not a good idea. What might work best would be to have a Section 0 into which everyone enrolls. Then they are assigned to the Section 1/2 classlist by the computer. If they prefer to change, let them fill out a course-change form from the department. Most won't bother and your registration numbers will end up (about) evenly split.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Thanks for all the responses. You all have affirmed my suspicion that most freshmen/sophomores just choose their intro classes by time/day.



    As for offering more sections, that's the issue. We offer about 100+ sections at all sorts of times, but what happens is that sometimes we'll have two sections at, say, 10:00, and one will have 25 people in it and one with 5. I'd like to take 5 folks out of the bigger one and move them to the smaller one so that both sections make and no one is inconvenienced by a cancellation.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    Thanks for all the responses. You all have affirmed my suspicion that most freshmen/sophomores just choose their intro classes by time/day.



    As for offering more sections, that's the issue. We offer about 100+ sections at all sorts of times, but what happens is that sometimes we'll have two sections at, say, 10:00, and one will have 25 people in it and one with 5. I'd like to take 5 folks out of the bigger one and move them to the smaller one so that both sections make and no one is inconvenienced by a cancellation.



    As a student I had two factors, time/day and who was teaching. I suppose time was more important, especially for intro classes. However, there were always the horror stories that made us avoid certain professors if possible.



    As for your dilemma: I think that if the classes are at the same time, it's not a bad idea. However, I don't think you could just arbitrarily move students. You'd have to get them to volunteer. Otherwise, you might as well just change the max number of students to 20. If it's 25 and then you go back and say "Sorry! Our bad!"--you're going to piss off some folks big time. Make sense?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    Actually, two questions:



    1) Do you really care who is teaching what classes at the intro-level? That is, do you schedule your Composition class by instructor or by day/time?



    2) Would you care if a department moved you from one section of a course to another (at the same time, on the same campus) in order to redistribute students to ensure that the maximum number of classes "make"?



    Here's why I'm asking. Every semester, university departments have to make decisions about when to cancel classes with only a few students in them. Usually, there will be a minimum number of students who have to be enrolled in order to make up the instructor wage, and so any classes with fewer than that number will be canceled, leaving the students to go enroll in something else. My argument is that if departments put "staff" on everything, students could be moved around to maximize enrollments (e.g. if one course at 9:00 on MWF has 25 students and another only has 7, the department would move 3 students over and allow both sections to make).



    Do any of the students here have a comment on this? Would this bother you? I understand that sometimes students will enroll together in a class, or that a student may be determined to take a specific instructor, but beyond that, I can't see any objection that outweighs the greater good of more sections for more students and fewer cancellations.



    Any comments will be greatly appreciated.



    I'm out of uni/college for 10 years now, but for me, it was the course subject and course content that made me decide what classes to take and how to schedule my classes. From what I think you are saying, your number 2. idea above is a good one.



    Honestly, most of the time, I did not really care who the instructor/lecturer was. It was only (for Biomedical/Genetics) towards the research internship year that choosing a lab to work with became important.



    Spent most of my non-Biology-class time during uni/college playing PC games, watching X-Files and self-learning Photoshop anyways.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton View Post


    ...I didn't begin paying attention to who was teaching my classes until I was taking third-year courses...



    Yeah, it was only in the latter half of my second year that I knew WTF was going on. 1st year is just like BOOM! Hits you like a brick. Everything -- the freedom, the drinking, the information, the heady excitement of the world being your oyster, learning about learning.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton


    But then there weren't websites where you could go to get other students' opinions on professors.



    Interactive websites weren't really even invented when I started college. We had Lynx. Then only Netscape towards my later years of college...



    Ah, recursive programming in Ada95. That was an insightful tutorial. Something to do with a function recursively calling itself. Very existential.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    As a student I had two factors, time/day and who was teaching. I suppose time was more important, especially for intro classes. However, there were always the horror stories that made us avoid certain professors if possible.



    Sometimes you just couldn't avoid those professors, if you had compulsory classes leading to your particular majors ~ at least in the Australian system. I epic failed (well not really, just barely passed though) Set Theory 101 or something like that ... it was some old lady from the Mathematics department that taught it, and I had no idea what the subject was really about.
Sign In or Register to comment.