Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Course evaluations time.

Just got my course evaluations for the Fall in. Not much there that's news to me: some of the little snowflakes want a big song-and-dance number every class, and some want everything spoonfed to them; most, however, thought the course was decent. What's intriguing this time around, though, is that one class was conducted in a fairly spacious lecture hall for 2.5-2.75 hours in the evening, and the other was conducted in a (much) smaller classroom on two mornings for 1.5 hours at a time. The manner of presentation was not altered between the two (I've done this material a number of times, and my patter is pretty much set). Guess which one they found more difficult and less interesting? Points awarded if you said "the first one".

So, what this demonstrates -- shockingly! -- is that people are tireder in evening classes and thus less able to concentrate on difficult technical subjects like philosophy, that smaller classes (and rooms) are better, and that 1.5 hours is probably the ideal chunk of time in which to be taught anything. I'll wait for confirmation of this after this term, as my current class is another 1.5 hour, 2 times per week class. But I suspect I'm right.

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