Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday students drag themselves to class for a brief 50 minutes. By the time they get there, it feels as if class is done. This allotted time is not enough for a substantial class period.
Students are not the only ones who see an issue with the time. Sheri Hope Culver, a professor of broadcasting, telecommunications and mass media, has spoken in class on her disapproval of the allotted time. Students can see Culver’s frustration, especially on a Friday when most students are scrambling to get an early start on their weekend.
I have never been in such short classes until this semester. Although Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes meet three times a week, it does not amount to the same amount of concentrated time as the longer Tuesday and Thursday classes. The topics cannot be as thoroughly covered in a 50-minute time frame. Many students may forget the material from one class to the next if they are not taught an entire concept at once. There is just not enough time in each class to cover material thoroughly.
It’s such a short time that for some, getting out of bed isn’t even worth it. By the time everyone in class is seated and the shuffling of their books has stopped, it is not long before the whole class is at it again, closing books and packing up to rush the teacher to finish early. With all of that, the time spent teaching barely makes it to the allotted 50 minutes.
And when it comes to absorbing information, it is not long enough. Lengthening classes has been an issue that has been raised when discussing education reform.
It is not only seen in college classrooms, but in high school classes, as well. The extended classes are meant for students to learn more intensively.
Temple seems to have always had the 50 minute, three day a week classes, and the longer one- hour-and-20-minute class twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are few exceptions, with most being night classes meeting once or twice a week. According to Temple’s scheduling matrix, permission must be granted for a class to be scheduled in a different time frame. This is said to maximize class flexibility, yet it’s not necessarily maximizing learning.
Although Temple’s matrix has a specific schedule, Ambler Campus has many more exceptions. On Self-Service Banner, it shows that Ambler includes Monday and Wednesday classes that are one hour and 20 minutes. Would it not be easier to allow students to have a more consistent schedule each day throughout the week, and allow for a Friday off? This type of schedule would make it easier for students to plan for one day during the week to have off. This can help students become more open to taking internships or juggling a job with school.
An increase in classes offered Monday and Wednesday, or even Wednesday and Friday, would be beneficial in many aspects. Optimizing both learning and time is helpful to any college student, many of whom are trying to manage both. And I don’t know many students who would complain about the opportunity at a three-day weekend.
Sarae Gdovin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.