Lab Cat

10 Sep 2008

Teaching Tuesdays: Starting Out (only a day late)

Filed under: Education, Teaching — Tags: , — Cat @ 12:03 pm

Now I’ve taught a whole week at my new County College (CC) I can make informed comparisons with my old Research University (RU).  The biggest differences is the number of contact hours and evening classes.

Previously,  I taught two courses a semester, and that was a lot for my department, with 7 – 8 credit hours depending whether the course had a laboratory or not.  Contact hours were more as I attended and taught every lab period.  Thus, one semester I had 9 contact hours (6 hours lecture and 3 hours lab) and the other semester I had fourteen contact hours (5 lecture hours and 9 lab hours) as food analysis had a double lab.  So far at CC I have three courses with release time for recruitment.  As one course does not have a lab that means I have fifteen contact hours – I should have eighteen.

I am teaching three evenings a week, whereas I never taught evenings at RU.  I actually quite like it except for the limitation on my social life.  I certainly prefer commuting at off-peak times.

As I taught an unpopular major at RU, most of my classes were small sometimes as few as 3 or 4 students, but often around 8-12.  I did teach one medium sized course which I set at 50 students after two years of trying to teach it with sixty-five students.  All my courses at CC are set at 24-26 students.  If they get more students, a new section will open.

Another major difference is that at CC I am contractually obliged to provide office hours – 5 h per week spread over three days. I’m doing slightly more than that as I am at work anyway.

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3 Comments »

  1. Interesting comparison. I didn’t know you were contractually obligated about your office hours. The question remains though, is anyone using them?

    Comment by Lisa — 11 Sep 2008 @ 9:13 am

  2. What’s up Cathy?!! Jessica let me buy a new iMac and I have now officially bookmarked your blog (so I’ll be checking in more often). I want to see more pictures of knitted ties!

    Comment by Robert Squier — 11 Sep 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  3. Hi Lisa

    No one has come to office hours yet and I suspect numbers will remain low. So it is a great time for lecture preparation!

    Hi Robert

    One knitted tie in my life time was enough. The knitting part was fine – lining it was the problem.

    Comment by Cat — 12 Sep 2008 @ 9:56 am


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