Who Makes The Classroom

An essential part of the classroom is the students, but possibly the critical part of the class is the professor teaching it.

All professors have a different style of teaching, which may or may not fit the way you want to be taught. Some teachers like to give out PowerPoint slides for notes, while others write some key concepts on a board and talk for the remainder of class, and perhaps with some courses, you have no notes.
It also depends on the type of person you are and what style of teaching you might prefer. I am a person who is a very visual learner; I need to see how something happens step-by-step for it to make any kind of sense to me.

However, while I am a visual learner, that doesn’t mean everyone relates to me and how I wish to be taught. Some people instead figure things out on their own, or maybe one-on-one with a professor rather than in a big group.

Then there is the topic of online learning versus in-person learning. While I prefer in-person learning to online learning, some prefer online. It is more convenient and safer for the circumstances of COVID-19, and as long as you have a stable internet connection, you can be anywhere in the world and learn. You could be soaking up the sun at Florida, in the comfort of your own house, or traveling the world for vacation.

The thing that will be lacking if you go online for classes is the connection you will have with your classmates. For some students, that may be fine, but to others, maybe having a relationship with their teacher is an essential factor in learning the material.

There is also the topic of synchronous vs. asynchronous. I feel both have their benefits, but asynchronous is the worse of the two. I have had three asynchronous classes in the past, and I enjoyed two out of the three. The two that I wanted were writing heavy courses with very clear instructions about what was expected of us and the work that we had to do. The one class that I did not enjoy was a math class, which is my worst subject.

While the professor gave us video-formed notes, I had to teach myself the entire course from start to finish. To say I was unhappy and stressed was an understatement. I did all I could to pass this class, and while I did pass with an acceptable grade, it was a slog.

I did not enjoy teaching myself a subject that I am not good at, and I did not have much help from the course instructor. I couldn’t even meet with the professor during their respective offices hours because I had online classes that I needed to attend and pay attention to. I did talk to some of my classmates for assistance, and they seemed to have no trouble with the course, either because they enjoyed math or because they didn’t have to attend a class and do it when they wanted to. The benefit of asynchronous courses is that you have a reasonable amount of time to do your work. The classic phrase that it takes two to tango definitely can be applied in the classroom depending on what kind of teacher you have and the way that best fits a student’s learning criteria.

I personally believe that there is a 50/50 split between teacher and student. In one regard the student needs to be able to do the work that is required of them, on time, and that meets the expectations of the teacher. At the same time the professor has to be fair in what their expectations are with the class.

One thing I believe is that teachers often forget that students have multiple classes, and sometimes due dates overlap with one another. Students then have to either try to do multiple important projects all at the same time, and either put a lot of effort into one of the projects or perhaps half ass the work for all them just to scrape by. I have seen my friends disregard some assignments that don’t pertain to their personal majors because they are not significant enough for them to worry about and really only focus on their core major classes, while their general education classes suffer in comparison.

If you do poorly in your general education classes it is only going to look bad on you and your GPA. And, if you are a student who doesn’t like the teaching style of your professor, drop the class and try to find a new one if you are able too. The alternative is either dropping the class which you will need to take later, or just sticking to it. There has to be a common middle ground among students and professors where both needs are met and are fair.