UCF class sizes bring mixed feelings

There are many different ways to take a class at UCF.

Students can either enroll in a fully online course or they can choose to take exclusively on-campus classes.

They also have the option to learn in a lecture hall setting or take classes where they may be part of a smaller student-to-teacher ratio, which may have great value to a student’s education experience.

The average class size at UCF is 32-to-1. At USF the ratio is 24-to-1 and at UF the ratio is 21-to-1, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Josh Dull, a sophomore in the creative writing program, said, “I prefer smaller classes. There’s more interaction in a forum setting.

“In lecture halls, I don’t pay as much attention,” Dull said. “Half the time, I’m either falling asleep or on my smartphone.”

When it comes to sitting in a room with 300 other students or more, some may have the ability to concentrate.

“Larger classes aren’t so bad,” Mirna Andrade, a freshman psychology major, said. “It’s nice to not have to talk to anyone sometimes, and you can focus on school.”

Joshua Johnson, adviser for the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, said student classes range in size from 35 to 100 in the Rosen College on average.

Larger classes are typically lower-level courses that are required for each major or for general education requirements.

For example, a lot of students enroll in basic math or biology during their freshman and sophomore years.

Students who apply for limited access programs, which require students to qualify for entry into a major, have to go through a different process or required classes.

However, there are fewer students enrolled in more specific, upper-level classes.

Restricted electives and program-oriented classes tend to be smaller in size as well.

“It isn’t difficult to gain access to this program, so there are typically larger class sizes than in other colleges,” Johnson said.

Whether a class is an online web course or if it takes place on campus, the size of the student-to-teacher ratio is irrelevant, said Johnson.

“If they are a self-starter and can work with minimal guidance, they should be able to succeed,” he said.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research for the Rosen College of Hospitality Management Youcheng Wang said the atmosphere at UCF is unique when it comes to the student-to-teacher ratio in this learning environment.

“The model they adopted is very interesting. The object is to offer a large selection of classes to accommodate the demand of the market in terms of students,” Wang said.

Some professors teach classes online, allowing them to interact more readily with students at their convenience instead of holding regular office hours or asking them to wait until they attend class to get answers to their questions.

“Professors have their own style of delivering the message,” Wang said. “The benefit of that model is to deliver a very consistent message and get students engaged in creating a tutorial-type setting.” 

Published in the Central Florida Future.

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