Tuesday, August 30, 2016
The Small Section Shuffle
- If the class is cancelled, what happens to the students? Is there another section at the same time (ideally) or a compatible time (less ideally) that could take them?
- Is it the only section of a required class? That happens sometimes with 200-level classes in smallish programs.
- Is it the only evening section? The only section at a given location?
- For full-time faculty, is there something else for them to teach? When you get down to the wire, a new prep is generally a terrible idea. We try not to put full-timers in dicey sections, but again, fluctuations aren’t evenly distributed. Sometimes a shortfall comes as a shock.
- What precedent are you setting?
Instructor to,r is really supposed to be instructor pay, the. It makes sense.
I get 'paid' for 15 credits a semester.
If, in those 15 credits, I each 5 sections of 50 each, and my colleague down the hall teaches 3 5 credit sections for 15 students each, I'm grading papers for 250 and she's grading for 45....
How do you deal with that?
One of our biggest problems is scheduling—we've been over-enrolled for over a decade, and all classrooms are in use in prime time—we can't expand an overenrolled class unless we can bump someone else's under-enrolled class. We are going to shorter class blocks this year, to squeeze an extra class block into the week, so that there are 7 TTh slots (190 minutes/wk), 7 MWF slots (195 min/wk), and 2 MW slots (190 min/wk), for a total of 16 non-conflicting slots. (Labs usually take up 2 adjacent time slots, but only one day a week.) Previously, all blocks were 210 min/wk. Our classrooms are now in use 8am-8:45pm. For 2017–18, they are figuring on having to run until 10:45pm.
My winter schedule calls for two MWF blocks and 3 TTh blocks (4 if an extra lab section is needed). That gives me 16 hours of class time, in addition to another 2 hours of office hours, 3+ hours of faculty meeting and department seminar, 3 hrs biweekly of Academic Senate Committee, and 2 hours monthly of curriculum committee meetings. I don't know when I'll have time for class preps and grading (no TAs, so I'll be grading for about 80 students by myself).
(No idea if we'll ever do it at my college, but it's worth keeping in my back pocket for sure :) )