Quality of teaching more important than class size, says study

A new report published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) suggests that the impact of larger class sizes on the quality of education that students receive is inconclusive, reports Inside Higher Ed.

The report examined whether the number of students in classrooms was a determining factor in how well students performed, as well as how faculty felt about teaching larger numbers of students.

The results of the study suggest that although smaller class sizes would probably be beneficial to students, there is no clearly defined relationship between large classes and students' academic performance. Although the report takes various viewpoints into consideration, the authors of the study point out that a lack of consensus on the issue makes it difficult to say for sure whether larger class sizes have a negative impact on the quality of education.

"If size matters, teaching methods and course design probably matter more," reads the report, as quoted by the news source.

Class sizes at public universities in particular have been increasing, due to the rising numbers of college applications received by many colleges. If you're enrolling in a degree program with larger class sizes, you shouldn't be discouraged. According to Dartmouth College's Academic Skills Center (ASC), taking notes in lecture-style classes can be a great way to prepare for exams. 

The ASC also recommends that students develop a system where they review their notes regularly, recite information to reinforce key concepts from the class, and take time to reflect on how ideas covered in the lecture fit with information covered in other classes. 

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