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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Lecture Halls or Traditional Classrooms

The ongoing debate of lecture halls vs. traditional classrooms presents itself again.

The smaller traditional classrooms are better than larger lecture hall classrooms. You have more one on one contact with your professor because there are fewer students in traditional classrooms as opposed to the larger lecture halls where you’re just one of 100 students.

If you’re having trouble understanding a concept that was taught in class the instructor is more likely to be able to spend time with you going over the problem. This will in return improve students’ grades.

Teachers are more likely to assign group assignments and presentations in smaller traditional classes. This can work either for or against you depending on your group, but for me this usually helps me break down what was learned in class.

Group assignments tend to get students more involved in the class as opposed to just sitting in class all day taking notes and going home to do homework on your own. By students becoming involved in the course work they usually learn and retain the material much better.

Conventional classrooms motivate students to actually come to class. In a larger class your teacher is not likely to notice whether you actually come to class or not, or if you’re even paying attention in class for that matter because there are so many other students in the room. You’re lucky if your professor even knows your name.

Whereas in a smaller more traditional classroom you’re more likely to attend classes because your instructor will be able to see how many students are in the room and is more likely to take roll.

The Washington Post reported that a research study on class size was conducted by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and was published by the National Education Policy Center. The study indicated that smaller class sizes tend to work better because they involved the students more.

According to Schanzenbach the mechanisms at work linking small classes to higher achievement include a mixture of higher levels of student engagement, increased time on task, and the opportunity small classes provide for higher-quality teachers to better tailor their instruction to their students.

Traditional classrooms are also less boring. You’re not simply staring at a too far away projection screen for an hour and a half taking notes. You are actually engaged in the assignments and class discussions.

It’s also a lot easier to meet new people and make more friends in traditional classrooms. In lecture halls students tend to sit further apart making you less likely to talk to your classmates and get to know each other.

I prefer to take the close knit traditional classroom over the cold oversized lecture hall classroom any day.     


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