Class selection is a pivotal factor in determining the outcome of any given semester. Although students don’t have much of a choice in the various required general education courses, there are a wide variety of options when it comes to elective classes.
Fourteen weeks and several hours each week spent on one class is a large commitment. Yet, when signing up for classes, the decision is often made last minute and with little information as to the course content, expectations from the instructor, etc.
Upfront and detailed information regarding class curriculum and content should be required in the course description. Grand Rapids residents pay $115 per contact hour to attend Grand Rapids Community College, with non-residents and out-of-state students paying much more than that. We don’t want to spend that money on courses we don’t like. The ability for students to have relevant knowledge about each course prior to signing up for it will not only save students money, but will help to ensure that students are learning relevant and interesting information regarding their career path.
Classroom engagement is positively benefited when students are enrolled in classes they are passionate, or at minimum, curious about. It is difficult to gauge your level of interest after merely reading a brief description of a course. Attached with each class description should be the instructor’s syllabus and an outline of the content covered.
Providing this information is mutually beneficial. Professors will appreciate that their students are engaged and enjoying the topic(s) discussed. Students will be actively involved when they are in classes they want to be in, not just one that was randomly selected from a pool of several.
Instructors are given quite a lot of autonomy as to how they conduct their classes. It is often forgotten that students are the ones paying the teachers salaries. Students have more influence than they perceive. However, in order for change to come about, opinions must be voiced.