23 December 2011

What to do with a Friday afternoon?

We used to have 50 minute classes - one hour with break between classes - on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We had 75 minutes classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This was similar to other universities I'd been at, even if the stop and start times were a bit weird. (Why start hour long classes at quarter to?)

A couple of years ago, our class schedule changed. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays didn't change. We continued to have classes running three times on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday - but just in the mornings. Monday and Wednesday afternoons changed to have 75 classes.

Friday afternoon? It got turned into one 3 hour class slot, running 1:00-4:00 pm.

I didn't like this. I liked running classes three times a week, and there went my options to run such classes in the afternoon. I also thought it would contribute to the perception that professors weren't working a full work week.

This week, we got an email from administration complaining that there are no Friday afternoon classes.

Well, duh. A three hour class on a Friday afternoon? What the heck did you think would happen?

Administration is saying they need to offer classes in this time "to meet student demand." Colour me unconvinced that there's a big demand for Friday afternoon classes. Sure, I know that if classes get put there, there will be some students who will sign up. But I wonder if they will make, or how attendance will run over the course of the semester.

I could've warned them. But nobody asks me these things.

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