Monday, September 14, 2009

A Preview Night Debate

One, two, three, four: I declare a debate war!

Other Honors Colleges across the U.S. who also have Banner are experimenting with year-long scheduling, meaning that each March (for example) students register for their Fall, Summer AND Spring classes.

So this post is two-pronged. Presidents and Provosts at these campuses say it will help them provide better course offerings (more of what students want) and more sections of what students need. To me, it feelsl ike going into the grocery store and buying everything I'll need for the next year for which the store manager will then make better selections for when I come back (in 365 days)...but if what I need is not one shelf, how would I ever buy it? So I'm curious if UNM ever moved in this direction (and I'm not saying we will as UNM tends to do things differently from the rest of the country), would this be helpful to anyone making their schedules?

My other thought directly relates to Honors on a year-long schedule. Every semester we have Preview Night so that students and faculty can come together as a community and get a look ahead at the next semester's courses. It takes about 2 hours to go through 1 semester of courses (with each teacher speaking for a max of 2 minutes!). So if we were on a year-long schedule, we could then presume Preview Night would take 4-5 hours!!! Holy Cow! Thus I open up the topic of Preview Night for a fun hypothetical debate. If you, the UHP student reading this post, were the new "Dr. O-director" of Honors, what would you do with Preview Night? Put teacher presentations online for students to watch whenever? Do away with it completely? Span it over 2 days? This is all hypothetical. Pretend there are no limits to technology or money.


JParke32 said...

An online presentation would be neat--a video, syllabus and discription.

However, the interaction and
in-person presentations are more beneficial for large programs. This is a chance to answer questions and clear up any possible confusion.

La Llorona said...

I also like the idea of an online presentation. Each class could have its own webpage within the greater UHP website, complete with syllabi, videos, and written descriptions.
Because the personal interactions with professors are so important, Preview Night should continue. However, due to the time constraints that would arise should UNM experiment with year-long scheduling, professors could give their talks more than once and simultaneously in different classrooms. After viewing different class websites, students could choose which talks to attend throughout the evening in order to connect in person with the professors.

Selkie said...

Being spread over two or more days would be helpful. Perhaps the first semester on one night, and the next semester the next night. That way, the students would have clear thoughts in their heads for each semester's classes, and not be confused about which classes for which semester they are taking. Personally, I would not want to choose my classes for the entire year, for what happens when people change their mind when the next semester comes? Or if they want to study abroad or become an exchange student? We need a little freedom and flexibility.

Chimera said...

Having to register for a year's worth of classes would definitely be more of a hindrance than anything. Many important decisions have to be made in college, but not all of those decisions can be made a year in advance. If the university decides to go for this form of registration, those individuals who have to make last-minute decisions are doomed. Registering for a year's worth of classes would also make registering more stressful for the incoming freshman. It's nice to be able to make a semester long schedule and be able to figure out what's right and what's wrong about it. If you mess up on a year's worth of classes, that's going to change your whole experience.