New York City, NY — by Molly Koch
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
NYU is a large university, with over 50,000 enrolled students, which means class sizes are not always going to be small. Unless you are like me and lucked out with small discussion-based classes in the Liberal Studies program or the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, you are bound to have at least one recitation on your schedule.
These seminars, which are often smaller and more relaxed than standard lectures, are made to allow students to revisit and discuss the content covered in class. In this way, students can get the small college feel within a large university, but that’s not always the case with recitations. These classes can be beneficial when they’re needed, but often become an annoyance to students who understand the content, but must attend or face grade penalties. NYU should allow students to make independent decisions about their learning, not mandate attendance at often-ineffective recitations.
Instead of attending a recitation which covers the same material discussed in lecture, students who understood the concepts the first time can instead devote this time to studying information they struggle with. Recitations are often counted as missed classes, or are opportunities for forced verbal participation. The extra time spent on the same subject can cause boredom, disinterest and even frustration toward the TA. In the span of just 75 minutes, a person’s favorite class might become their least favorite.
Additionally, many students have busy schedules that include clubs, athletics and even on-campus jobs that can make it challenging for them to attend every recitation session. Students can more effectively manage their time and prioritize their responsibilities if they are given the option of attending or skipping recitations. Complicating the issue further, recitations can be difficult to fit into a schedule, either forcing students to attend an early recitation before their classes and miss out on sleep or register for one on an otherwise free day of their week. This time could be used by students to do assignments, carry out independent research or participate in extracurricular activities.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.