Story by Katherine Hunt
Here at Drake University, there are a variety of class options. There are the typical twice-a-week, hour-and-15-minute classes, independent studies, and now J-term classes. However, there is another option — once-a-week courses. These courses are offered throughout the university in a variety of disciplines. The Times-Delphic met up with some students to discuss some pros and cons of a weekly 3-hour course.
The advantages to once-a-week classes are numerous. A veteran of weekly classes, sophomore Ellen Calder, found some critical benefits of having one class session a week.
“These classes allow for a lot of activities and group discussions along with presentations to occur, because they last over two hours,” Calder said. “You also get a big variety of peers and students, many with different viewpoints that make class more lively.”
Other advantages to once weekly courses include extra time for homework, studying and more free time.
Sophomore Bailey Cernohous also finds that once-a-week courses are the most informational of her classes.
“They (the professors) jam tons of information into one class session, and are always super helpful,” Cernohous said. “I have had at least one course such as these every semester so far, and I feel like I learn the most in these courses.”
However, weekly courses do have their drawbacks. The most common complaint is the time length. Three hours is an exceedingly long amount of time to be sitting in the same chair listening to the same professor lecture about the same subject. Cernohous finds the issue of attendance as a core disadvantage.
“The main problem with having a class only once a week is that you absolutely must go to class every week. If you are sick that day, you still need to go to class because by missing one class time, you are missing a whole week of learning,” said Cernhous.
Other criticisms of once-a-week courses may include a seemingly-larger amount of homework and the larger attention span required while sitting through a 3-hour class.
While weekly courses do contain a plethora of information and may be convenient, they are not for everyone. Once-a-week courses take up a lot of time and require extra effort on the student’s behalf.
Junior Kaila Wechsler also has some encouraging advice for students still wishing to try their hand at taking a course once a week.
“If you don’t understand something, you have to be more proactive about it, because it is going to be a whole week before you hear about it again,” Wechsler said. “However, if you are prepared for it, they can be great classes and an easy way to open up your schedule without sacrificing credits.”