Save the Scorsese: Class Time Should Be Interactive Experience

Last week, the Foghorn staff took note of professors missing significant class time and the negative effect that has on USF students.

We emphasized the value that we place in the instruction that we have come to expect from our professors.

The 3-4 hours of instruction we have per week from each of our professors is valuable, and we need to make sure that time is used as effectively as possible so that we get the most out of our USF experience and enter the work force as well prepared as possible.

The Foghorn has learned of professors that are using the majority of class time to show videos related to subjects that are taught in their classes.

Some videos shown in class are central to what professors are trying to teach.  But spending the majority of class time showing videos is an invalid use of that time.  Using class time to discuss course material is a much more valuable way to get the most out of our classes.

If there are longer videos that are essential to the course, they should be assigned for students to watch outside of class.  Professors do not assign readings for students to sit and read quietly during class time.

Instead, we take them home and complete the readings for the next class so that we can spend class time discussing the material.

Videos should no be any different.  Class time should be used for discussing the videos and not watching them.

Professors can make the video available to students by putting them on reserve at the Gleeson Library or providing links to videos that students can watch online.  There may be limited copies, but students can share the copies or get together outside of class to watch them.

In some circumstances, videos may have to be assigned an extended due date further than the following class.

There are many professors at USF, especially in the Politics Department, who release their syllabus as early as possible.  Some professors release them as soon as their classes fill up.

This is a great way to combat the length of time it may take for students to watch a video.

If the syllabus is released months in advance with videos listed, then students can be held accountable for watching the videos in a timely manner.

It gives us the chance to buy, rent, reserve, or find any other way to get and watch videos required for the course.

It takes an extra effort from both students and professors, but it will save valuable class time for instruction and/or discussion.

Class is much more valuable and productive when it is an interactive experience.  Its time is best put to use when students and professors are sharing thoughts, perspectives, and raising questions for everyone in the classroom to learn from.

Another option, if it is essential that students watch the videos in class, is to show only parts of films that are central to the course learning requirements.

Students still get to view the material without having to find it on their own, and there is still enough class time to be used doing other things.

Conducting class in the most interactive way possible best promotes the growth of the USF community that we hear so much about.

6 thoughts on “Save the Scorsese: Class Time Should Be Interactive Experience

  1. I totally agree. I think it’s ridiculous to spend time in class watching full-length feature films. If the professor is done lecturing and no one has anything else to say, just dismiss class!

    Let’s hope that professors catch on to the fact that this considerably dumbs down classes before we spend the rest of the semester making it through the Lord of the Rings trilogy or whatever else teachers feel justified in showing students.

  2. The occasional film is a nice break from the traditional classroom experience, but I’ve spent multiple classes in a row trying to get through a three hour film on many occasions. What a waste!

  3. @laura: same here, there are times when I enjoy it – especially if it’s something more along the lines of a documentary. What bothers me is when I watch feature film after feature film and feel like I am throwing my cash away.

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